In a little short of two weeks, from now, I start my full-time photography course. My feelings about my forthcoming studies are dual in that I am eagerly anticipating them and yet am apprehensive about my ability to wrap my brain around the theoretical aspects of photography.
I don’t fully understand why I am so drawn to photography but drawn I am like an incoming tide towards the shore. It’s certainly not the purely technical aspects of the medium nor the possibilities of post-production manipulation of images that excite me the most.
Even though I haven’t unravelled the skein of my pull towards a visual medium, which has the ability to still the world for a nano-second and narrate in the blink of a shutter a moment in the arc of the life of a person or place, I do know that I love looking at images taken by masters of the world of photography. So last Saturday I went to see a photography exhibition at IMMA (The Irish Museum of Modern Art) called, Second Sight: The David Kronn Photography Collection.
David Kronn is an Irish-born New York based pediatric geneticist who has a museum quality collection of photographs numbering around six hundred and apparently he has plans to double its size. He has generously promised the entire collection to IMMA and some images have already been donated. His collection includes work by: Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Simon Norfolk …
The Second Sight exhibition showcases a portion of David Kronn’s collection. Sadly, but understandably, visitors are not allowed to take photographs so I have no visuals of it to show you. I found some of the images haunting: an infra-red picture of a child soldier in The Congo and a misty depiction, redolent of poverty, taken decades ago in Dublin of a child collecting coal (I think) from the gutter. All were beautiful in different ways, I could go on and on about it but the exhibition is best seen rather than described.
One of the good things about museums and public art galleries in Ireland is the no entry fee policy. And among the many good things about IMMA are: the beautiful 17th century buildings, modelled on Les Invalides in Paris, that comprise it and its charming surrounding grounds.