Following on my SOAP series – (Story of a Photograph)
Number 4: Wondrous Place
I try to avoid gimmicky photographs if at all possible, it is not really my thing, although sometimes a situation is offered up to you that is so obvious that it is a little hard to resist pressing the shutter button; it is as if the photography-gods have set it up intentionally just for you to come along and get the shot, and who am I to refuse their efforts?
I was in the Museum of Liverpool in the docklands this particular day, and as I reached the top of the stairs I saw this scene before me. It looks like an arranged/staged photograph, but in reality there was this guy just sitting there as if by demand (probably waiting for his wife to return from the toilet) underneath a large Elvis-like graphic pointing over his head. What immediately struck me was how miserable the guy looked even though the graphic was pointing to a Wondrous-Place. It was if the graphic was saying –
‘Hey, old guy, go this way you will be happier.’
It brought to my mind a feeling that this was in some way a metaphor for modern life, so much wonderful stuff and yet so much apathy too; are we ever really content? Or maybe it was an advertisement to show us what married life can do to you after fifty years? Regardless of the generation we exist in people tend to just live in the present and things never really change that much; there is happiness, there is hope, and there is apathy and boredom and a wanting to be somewhere else. All of these things went through my mind in the couple of seconds I had in which to take the photograph, I knew there was no second chance, just as in much of life.
I also noticed when I got home that the guy was wearing white-socks. I am not sure what this means, if anything… a yearning for youth maybe? Whatever it was it added a certain something that I liked.