Study of Grief

This eye

is not for weeping

its vision

must be unblurred

 

thought tears are on my face

 

its intent is clarity

it must forget

nothing

 

–– Adrienne Rich

This study started as a series of prose poems. But, as much as I kept trying, I couldn't produce words and punctuation to articulate what I wanted to convey. At first I thought I could complement words with images. Then, I found visual grammar alone to be more effective than sentences due to the dimensions I was interested in bringing to the fore: the repetitive, uncomfortable, sometimes obsessive nature of grief; the blurriness of emotional states; how grief both repeats and morphs, and how it morphs in its repetitiveness. 

 

The series is based on two photographs I took of a place that is familiar to me: a specific tract of the seashore on the Adriatic which is the backdrop of many of my childhood memories. The first image originally portrayed peaceful morning waves; the second was taken late at night as a thunderstorm was approaching. Each image has been extensively, sometimes violently, edited -- several times and at different times -- to the extent of making a familiar place unrecognizable. Each image presents slight variations and distortions compared to the preceding one. Sometimes the variations are subtle, other times they are abrupt, cacophonic. 

 

Ideally, I imagine this series to be composed of all the possible combinations of color pixels from the two original photographs--a neverending progression of cognitive, visual, syntactic, and epistemological contortions.

Note: the mobile view of this page doesn't keep the original formatting.

Marina Romani 2020