Monday, June 25, 2007

The Joker

Susan Sontag says, "All photographs are momento mori. To take a photo is to participate in another person's (or thing's) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt." If so, the images of Kallstrom farm have the mark of the joker about them, laughing in time's face. Where splintered boards seem about to fall baby lambs scamper beneath their mothers. A ladder lies on a rooftop waiting for repairs to resume. A truck lies rusting in the weeds, it's cargo still aboard. Nobody can remember a time when it wasn't parked just there. Goats with curved goats and long beards graze and cast a cynical eye and answer back to the bahhh-hbahhh of the lambs. All about are the relics of 100 years of Kallstrom farming, custodians of an inscrutable story. Cows, goats, lambs, and people barely notice as each carries out its appointed task.

Having just produced a more comprehensive image of Straight Farmstead, it's satisfying to follow it with a similarly comprehensive image of Kallstrom, the former quiet and shy, this one, a never resting prankster.


Moi said...

i'd give an arm and a leg to spot a scene like this......loved Sontag's quote u shared with us .

Emery Roth II said...

I risk arm and leg regularly for shots. So far I've kept appendages intact. thanks for your comment. Incidentally, if English is your second language, you write it like a native. The couple who run the farm in this photo are former high school English students of mine. That said, I blush at the misspelling of "mystery" in my last post to you.

Ginnie said...

I don't think I've ever seen a barn-stead that looked like this, Ted. It totally amazes me!

tooter said...

I was quite amazed myself the first time I drove by, and I decided then and there to keep coming back until I could meet the owner. Early one morning I drove by when Brent Kallstrom was out front. I didn't recognize him at all, but he remembered me from when he was a student in my high school fiction writing class. However, I recognized his wife immediately and recalled her sister and one brother vividly.

Just this week I tried making contact with another farm owner, and was recognized by another former student. She didn't own the famr but quickly put me in touch with the owner of the farm.

Such are the joys of living in a small town. My students grow up, many move away, and all change. Since I've now been retired for 3 years there are no students in the school who remember me, but former students are all around, and several have helped in my effort to get access to photo sites.