Eclecticism

Self Portrait in warped mirror (Manchester, GB)

Eclecticism: a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases. However, this is often without conventions or rules dictating how or which theories were combined. – Wikipedia

I touched on this subject a couple of posts ago. If somebody were to ask me what my style/theme was in photography I would unhesitatingly answer Eclecticism. To me the world is too fascinating a place to stick rigidly to one theme or style; this may be to my detriment as people are generally attracted to artists/photographers who are instantly recognisable from their work, but I have to be who I am. I like the surprise of heading out and not knowing what I am looking for, I would become bored if I did, I yearn for freedom and the unknown.

As Daido Moriyama once said: ‘There’s this thing called a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an extremely pessimistic game: approaching a complete image by focusing on detailed parts. However, I think it’s somewhat comparable to how I feel about photography.’

I feel a similar way; each image I take is in someway one piece of the jigsaw as a whole. To put if another way, if I were to place all the photographs I have taken onto a wall the whole collage would to my mind be my theme, a theme of inconsistency, to be consistently inconsistent would be my goal. This is important to my way of thinking, to find some clarity amongst the pieces, to find a common thread in all the things I photograph no matter how different they may seem. I guess this post is not so much about me trying to say something or put my opinion across, but simply conveying the thoughts in my head at the present time; as Moriyama also said: ‘I made a jigsaw puzzle with my heart and my head.’

I find myself talking about Moriyama from time to time, it is not so much his photography that fascinates, it is more what he says that strikes a chord with me. I will no doubt return to this subject of eclecticism and photographic vision in time, maybe it will be something you will like to read, maybe not; I don’t have comments enabled on my posts as you may have noticed so I don’t get to hear your thoughts, I am rarely on WordPress, I post then forget about it until the next time, this is the reason, I am seldom here, it is a journal, no more. If you feel you would like to share your thoughts then you are welcome to contact me via my email – mail@stevemol.com

To get back to the point in question, to me, to randomly go out and take photographs without really thinking about why or at least questioning my methods seems kind of pointless, they would become mere snapshots in that situation. I also used to think that my eclecticism was a problem that I had to overcome, now I don’t believe it is, it is actually something to grasp and run with. I certainly enjoy it more this way; opening up new photographic ideas and roads as time goes by, my thoughts may change, just like my photography…

for now, these are they.

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