Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Frontier


 

FEDERICO FELLINI:  "What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one.... It's this in-between that I'm calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one - which is really the realm of the artist."


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:   There are many truths at the tops of mountains, and the first is that the top is always further off and higher up than it seemed along the way. We never got there and turned back toward the city. Another truth for me is that the thrill, the rush, the ecstasy comes as much from the remoteness of the mountaintop as from its elevation.  We were beside a major city. We had arrived in a gondola made to carry bicycles at a terminal where vacant store fronts begged for tenants!  

We had, however, crossed a significant edge the moment we stepped beyond the terminal and we thrilled looking over it. It was certainly an edge, even a, "frontier," to a notoriously rugged and lonely stretch of roadless, volcanic, Andean highlands; a frontier if one accepts that terrestrial frontiers are now all encircled by roads and photographed from space and available on your Google desktop. No need to stand on a mountaintop to feel the earth shifting beneath our feet, however good it felt to actually go there and feel it push up on the soles of our shoes. Perhaps the real frontiers today are all in time.