Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ladder to heaven?


Mid October in Paris... We all know the sun won't last forever, so we keep an eye out for any sign of it! As for me, I simply looked outside my window at 3:45 pm and, voila, saw this on the wall across the courtyard. I like the effect.

54 comments:

  1. Bonjour Eric:

    Very Elegant Eye Eric! It is all about light!

    I love these type of images. The texture of the wall contributes also.

    Steve, in brilliantly clear, crisp and sunny Chicago.

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  2. Bonjour 2:

    Oh yes, and elegant cropping. Nothing extraneous, just the shadows and the ladder rungs.

    S.

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  3. Eric - you like it? Like it!? Tsk, Tsk! You love it and so will everyone who sees it!

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  4. The wall actually looks like paper in a way. Nice effect bien sur!

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  5. Funny...I thought it was paper as well! It almost looks like a sprial notebook.

    I'm still not sure what I'm looking at. A crinkly wall? What are the lines for? I'm so confused....

    It has goten my curiosity raised.

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  6. I agree, Eric, it's a great effect.

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  7. How many angels can dance on the shadow of a rung?

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  8. Nice picture. I love the way you can get beautiful pictures from such simple things!!!

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  9. I like it and think it's kind of stylish though it took me a few seconds to figure out the ladder and the shadow.

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  10. Eric,

    The elemental quality of this image is very captivating, as is its abstract, ephemeral design. To know that, if you had taken it at 3:46 pm it would have been a different image, and different again a minute, an hour, etc., later adds to its magic - and, I must say, to its melancholy. We sense - we are in silent mourning for - not just a moment in literal time that is about to disappear, but an aesthetic, photographic moment, that has already expired, but which continues to haunt the image with its ghostly trace: a moment that is, in fact, the meaning of both the image and the look it draws from us. It asks us to see it as a visual reverie: one that, like the shadows cast by the motionless, time-keeping "hand" of a sun dial, is always on the move, creeping away from us, like the dying days of a season, or the final seconds of a sunset. "I see photographs everywhere," wrote Roland Barthes, "like everyone else, nowadays; they come from the world to me, without my asking..." (Camera Lucida)

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  11. Louis, i like your comment... it explains my love of photography, that's for sure.

    Eric, i like this photo as well.... beauty in the simple things.

    Merci! and yes...we all know the sun won't last forever! :-(

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  12. Wonderful lines/shadows. Great catch Eric!

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  13. The aesthetic quality of this image is amazing. One of the very best of your blog imho.

    JM-

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  14. Outstanding effect!
    The wall seems to be cut into "tranches de saucisson".
    What a contrast between the regular lines on one hand, and the irregular surface of the wall on the other hand.

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  15. Oh Eric, what a beautiful photo, such simple lines, so minimalistic, such a bunch of sycophants.

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  16. Dear Art Lover,

    With respect, I don't believe you have either added to, or substracted from, any of the comments that proceeded your own. In any case, appreciation is a matter of individual taste and good expression - unlike jibes, which are a bad expression of taste in matters of the individual.

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  17. LOL Louis...I'm stupid so I had to look the word up:

    sycophant - a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage

    Then I looked up this word:

    jealousy - a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something possessed by another

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  18. Glad I made you laugh, Michael: after all, I wasn't trying to be nasty.

    But I will leave the final word on this issue to William Shakespeare, who reminds us that generosity cannot help but be fair (in all senses of the word), while "jealousy shapes faults that are not".

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  19. Well Louis we can see your taste in art because you link to people like Cindy Sherman and Vanessa Beecroft. I'm surprised you don't have a link to Spencer Tunick, whose only talent is to talk hundreds of people into undressing. And Michael, you have misread my comment because it was not aimed at Eric, who takes great photos - but not all of the time. (So no to jealousy I'm afraid) Nobody's perfect. Why can't somebody once in a while just say great blog, great photos but this particular photo just doesn't cut the mustard? What was it Shakespeare said about honesty? ... but I'm sure you can tell us that, Louis.

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  20. Art Lover,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about Spencer Tunick, which is why I'm disappointed that you rather unkindly assume I have the kind of "taste in art" (or lack of it, if I follow your meaning correctly) that would lead me to consider him an important artist. On the other hand, I'm pleased - though not at all surprised - that you took the time to check out my blog; which, I should point out, is not in any way an indication of my "tastes". It's simply a way of recording and cross-referencing images and ideas that have intrigued, amused, or even disturbed me in one way or another. And, as it is an ongoing project, which will eventually grow to encompass many other varieties of imagery and ideas - both historical and contemporary - I don't think its current form can be used as an excuse to stereotype me, or my alleged "tastes". I would also have you note that it is a project based on the playful notion of creating a puzzle with no "correct" solution (i.e. what all forms of "taste" try to be - which is why I'm not so keen on the concept, as you can probably tell).

    Let's just agree to differ, shall we? After all, it would be a shame (on a French blog, no less!) to get into a squabble over someone else's right to have an opinion and to express that opinion as they see fit. Personally, I have no problem with you not liking Eric's photo - or anyone else's for that matter. I just want same freedom I'm willing to accord you, that's all.

    End of story.

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  21. Oh Eric, you have no idea how perfect this photo fits into my day today. My God, as if I wasnt emotional enough already! You must be seeing into my mind.

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  22. The photograph can not be separated from its title. Eric's title is the "Ladder to heaven?".

    The ladder to heaven can be considered as one of the oldest images in Western culture. Its source can be attributed to Jacob's ladder in the Old Testament, Genesis 28:10-12 dated to the seond millenium B.C.

    The image of the ladder to heaven has been used continuously in art through the ages. In many cases, this image has shown people climbing the ladder to heaven and slipping off or being pulled off by demons for their sins.

    Encouraged by Eric's title, one could interpret his image as follows. The iron loops represent the ladder to heaven. Note that there are no safety features on the ladder as mandated by man's governmental laws! The shadows represent the "slippery slope" of failure. Note that the "slippery slopes" are shadows, not explicit, largely discounted by people; but, failure is very real.

    Eric asks: Is this not the Ladder to Heaven? I ask: Is this not Art?

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  23. OK Louis, so no cat fight then? AWWWW!
    But, to be serious, I agree with what you say - I was just getting bored with everybody being so gushy all the time about Eric's photos, which I think are great and I love the information and anecdotes he provides but for me this one didn't 'cut the mustard'. No, don't get me wrong, I think you had to be there - for Eric there was sunshine and shadows but I don't think it transferred well onto a photo.

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  24. Plusieurs mois que je visionne chaque jour "Photo of the day". Je n'ai jamais fait de commentaire, mais cette fois je suis bluffé ! Bravo.
    Yves M.

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  25. Superbe ! Ce cliché a un petit air de San Francisco DP (et c'est un compliment, of course)...

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  26. Well, a few days ago we saw the "doorway to heaven" here, so it's only fitting we get the "ladder to heaven." Now, where is heaven? Paris! I like how Eric shows us all sides of his great city...but don't think it qualifies as "art," so don't know what this silly debate is all about. As usual, though,am amused and informed.

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  27. Sooo, I understand there has been some controversial debate all day long here... (Brian even mentioned the bible!).

    And to think that I hesitated a lot before posting this photo because I wasn't really sure of its interest.

    Whatever you may think of this photo, please, keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer, I do this blog for the fun of showing all the aspects of Paris (not just the Eiffel Tower!), nothing more. I have no artistic pretensions whatsoever and, even though I am proud of some of my shots, I do know that a lot of them have no artistic value, of course.

    I think the right question, when it comes to seeing a painting, a photo, a sculpture... is not "is that a good or bad piece of art" but am I moved by it" (Apparently Soosha was with this photo, God knows why?! ;))

    Anyway, as a final word, I will keep in mind Louis' expression: "let's agree to differ!"

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  28. The wonderful thing about this "silly" debate is that it has summoned a range of responses, from the "I just like it" type to the "I like it because..." type.

    Just for the record, I never claimed that Eric's photo is a work of art (although I do believe the boundaries of "art" are far from well-defined). My point is simply that, ultimately, there should be no restrictions on how a person responds to an image, even when that image seems mundane or inconsequential to others. We all need to value the idiosyncrasies of our own responses - and, in turn, respect those we may not and, indeed, cannot share.

    Hope that doesn't make me sound like too much of a grouch or snob.

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  29. Bonjour:

    My goodness this simple image has certainly gernerated a lot of comments! (32 before mine!) I can't recall, but I think 47 or so may be the record.

    It just occurred to me that this image is not unique to Paris at all. It could just as well be found in my town of Chicago.

    What it is, is unique to Eric's vision, and that, is one of the reasons we all can't wait to check in every day to not only see what he has found to catch, but read a bit of information, often about something many of know nothing about. The great part is that there are a few "viewers" who are extremely knowledge and add insight.

    ============
    Wish I spoke French. I really felt cheated my self by not understanding a word of the Blogshow in the posting for 10/14/06.

    BTW, one of my favorite photos by Eric was featured on that "broadcast," the one of the two coffee cups with the bill and a few Euros on a rich wooden table top in a Bistro.

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  30. Eric, it's the anniversary of my mother's death today (as for me it's still 15 Oct.) It's been 7 years, but still the pain never goes away. The ladder to Heaven photo had very interesting timing. Plus it's starkness and contrast kind of mirrors my own emotions today. I can't help but smile at fate. He's certainly an interesting fellow!

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  31. In the words of Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?" Ha!

    But seriously, regardless of your "views" on any picture...I think it's rude to come to someone's site (that they've put time and effort into) and criticize the picture.

    Eric deserves more than that....

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  32. I am a day late on this blog. We were in Louisville seeing an excellent production of La Boheme. Mimi could mount that ladder to heaven since she died in the fourth act. After all this controversy evoked by this photo, I am still going to gush over this one. I love the texture and the theme. Eric may not be professional in his own eyes but to me, he is the king of photos of vast appeal.

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  33. soosha_q: you know my thoughts are with you.

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  34. susan in atlanta ... I don't think it's rude to come to someone's site and express an opinion. That is what the comments box is for. nor did I criticise the site and I have expressed my appreciation of Eric and his work (see above). For me this picture didn't work but I can still feel the sunshine thanks to Eric.

    Louis the debate wasn't really 'silly' was it? It got some honest reaction from people.
    and Eric you didn't think such a simple picture would raise such a debate. Wait and see what happens when you post something really controversial.

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  35. Lover,

    If you force me to defend myself...I will.

    You insulted everyone who liked it by saying, "such a bunch of sycophants." Arrogant.

    And then you insulted Louis's taste based on your perception of his website.

    I won't argue with you about this.....

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  36. No, Art Lover, the debate wasn't silly at all: I was just quoting from a previous contributor. Indeed, I found it stimulating, even fun. I enjoyed going (virtually) head to head with you in the blogosphere. I only hope that I didn't come across as belligerent or rude. I am capable of being both, but in this case there was no need to be either. Still, one never knows how what one "says" on the internet is going to be interpreted in the absence of one's "speaking" body.

    Anyway, thanks for keeping things lively, AL. Today's (16th Oct) post at Voltaire's Monkey is dedicated to our spirited, good-natured (and not at all silly) cyberspace spat.

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  37. Funny though that you thought it was about you....since no name was mentioned.

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  38. Art Lover,
    Of course you may think what you like and express what you like in any forum; but, when your initial post drips with the disrespect of sarcasm and labels other respondants as sycophants, then you will be brought up short for your rudeness, as Susan has done. Simple as that.

    Making further personalized distainful comments to Louis that imply you have superior taste in art doesn't strike me as a very adult or kind way to communicate your views. These photo blogs take a tremendous amount of time, energy, and dedication, so of course commentors from the circle of daily photobloggers are going to leave appreciative and positive feedback and treat each other with tremendous respect and encouragement. Pity that type of behavior bores you, but perhaps in future you can find it in you to simply tolerate it and express your own view without sniping at others' comments.

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  39. ... ah! so the debate rages on :)
    What's the point in agreeing with everybody or not disagreeing with their views? That does not provoke (and I use the word advisedly) any response.

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  40. ... but sycophant is such a lovely word. As are agent provocateur or devil's advocate

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  41. Louis, just managed to see today's post - there's a whole lotta lovin' goin' on!
    I like it - not sure whether to say thank you or take it as a 'sarcastic jibe' - anyway point taken, I think touché is appropriate here.

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  42. This has been a very interesting debate. One thing I learned in France was that debating was kind of a sport...then you all go out and have a glass of wine together. Of course, perhaps a photo blog isn't the best place to conduct such a debate over a single photograph, but it has been interesting....and as I said before, "I learned a new word" (that I'll probably never want to use after seeing the response)!

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  43. Oh go on Michael - live dangerously :) It is such a lovely word.
    Now Jean it hardly dripped with disrespect, be honest, but it is such a strong emotive word.
    I'm afraid that I will be unable to contribute to this debate for a while (sorry) - I am off to Paris for a few days but if I meet you, Eric, I will ask you to prenez un verre avec moi and crave forgiveness for upsetting your community of posters.
    So no talking about me behind my back :P

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  44. Michael, I know. Thank you. And mine are always with you.

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  45. Très très joli, les lignes obliques. Ca me plait !

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