A Constant Wind
Between a Breeze and a Gale
7 X 5 inches 222 pages 111 photographs
Signed Limited edition of 50
Published September 2016
In 1831, Hokusai made a color woodblock print of Travelers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri. It depicts Mount Fuji as a single elegant line rising out of rice fields in the background. In the foreground is a more chaotic scene: a few thin trees and five figures bracing themselves as a strong wind blows, sending their papers and a hat high into the sky. It is one of his 36 Views of Fuji; the landscape is large, but the print is an intimate 10”x15”.
In 1993, Jeff Wall made a photograph called A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai). Instead of Mount Fuji and rice fields, in Wall’s print the landscape is full of industrial farms and urban margins, but the foreground imagery is the similar to Hokusai’s: figures bracing against wind and wispy trees with papers blowing through the sky. Wall’s print is huge: 100 times the size of Hokusai’s. It’s lit from the back, like a billboard or movie screen. He calls it “life scale.”
In 2016, I made A Constant Wind, Between a Breeze and a Gale. It depicts a single figure and wispy trees against a windy seascape. In this age, people rarely carry papers due to the invention of smart phones, so there’s little to blow away. The figure stands still, perhaps looking at the seascape and perhaps looking at her phone as the wind whips at her. Yet you can feel the wind and blowing pages as you experience this flipbook.
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