Egypt's 8 renewable energy firms to visit UK late November    Banks continue to shine with strong business results in 9M18    Gas, telecommunications, achieve highest growth rates during Q1 of current FY    Japanese Saraya to establish $10m worth cosmetics, pharmaceutical complex in Ain Sokhan    Arab Land Bank grants EGP 50 mln to Tamweely Microfinance    Egypt to not impose capital gains tax    Trump calls CIA assessment of Khashoggi murder premature but possible    Madbouly heads to Addis Ababa to partake in 11th AU Extraordinary Session    Egypt's PM forms committee tasked with preparing amendments for NGOs law    Al-Sisi stresses Egypt's commitment to save biodiversity    If women have equal opportunities as men, they can add $28tn to the global economy: Vice Chairman of Mastercard    Meteorological Authority warned specialists of Assiut floods 72 hours beforehand: chairperson    UK PM May defends Brexit deal as opponents plot no-confidence vote    Egypt's Sisi attends funeral service for police officer Satea El-Noemany    Trump says not considering extraditing Erdogan foe    British Council in Egypt celebrates 80th anniversary of success and continued hard work    Egypt attaches great importance to biodiversity in sustainable development: Sisi tells COP 14    BlackBerry to take over cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 bln    U.S.-China divisions dominate APEC summit    Salah's 'explosive' winner, patience allowed Egypt to beat Tunisia: Salgado    Vietnam to host Formula One races in 2020, more countries could follow    Israel's Netanyahu takes over defense job as coalition falters    'What if Something Else did not happen?': Darb 1718's director Moataz Nasreldin on Cairo's alternate biennale    Netherlands performance surprises delighted Koeman    Tabarez lauds youngsters for new-look Uruguay    41 countries to take part in Egypt's first Defence Expo 'EDEX 2018'    Germany: Could this crop of youngsters force Joachim Löw's hand?    ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev sets up last four clash with Federer    Germany's longest-running soap to end in 2020: What made Lindenstrasse so popular    UN conference to address biodiversity loss as it kicks off in Egypt's Sharm El-sheikh Saturday    Egypt's GDP rose to 5.3% in first quarter of FY 2018/2019: Minister    Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia: Did justice take too long?    Egypt ready to face Carthage Eagles at Borg El-Arab stadium    Original torch of the Statue of Liberty moves again    Egypt's Sisi has ordered local council elections for early 2019: Minister    Egypt's Sisi renames El-Nahda Square after late police officer Satea Nomani    Russian, Egyptian opera stars together at Egypt's MUST Opera House    Military court postpones verdict in ‘Al-Sisi assassination' case    An initiative on the Nile    Religious issues in parliament    Wonder week    Abu-Kabsula    Laila Murad    "Scent of Time"    Egypt FM calls for overcoming delay in implementing Nile dam decisions during Adis Ababa talks    Sameh Shoukry heads to Addis Ababa    ‘A tale': photojournalist Mohamed Omar's first solo exhibition    An oasis for dialogue    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





A moment of clarity with Walter Chappell
Published in Daily News Egypt on 30 - 09 - 2010

From the desert of New Mexico to the desert of Egypt, bursts of light flash through black squares on the walls of the American University in Cairo's Photographic Gallery. This month, AUC hosts the first overseas exhibition of the photography of the late American photographer Walter Chappell (1925-2000), titled “Metaflora.”
“Metaflora” is subtitled “A series of electron images of plant life realized without a camera in total darkness.” The focus of the exhibit is mundane, living vegetal objects: an avocado, parsley, a daisy blossom among others. Yet the technique of electron photography (high voltage/high frequency electron imagery) shows the life energy of these freshly cut plants shining out with star-like intensity.
These pictures are a means to capture more than just the intricate, unseen energetic structure of living flora. Chappell's development as an artist was closely linked to academic studies of other fine arts and encounters with Native American spiritual rituals at a young age.
Later on, he was influenced by the teachings of Armenian mystic George Gurdjieff. He began exploring photography in the 1950s and through capturing the beauty of the natural world Chappell sought “a growing discovery of my inner being.”
Chappell was at the vanguard of a mid-century American fine art photography movement which, following in the techniques innovated by Alfred Stieglitz, sought to establish photography as an expressive art akin to painting and poetry. Other prominent members included Minor White and Ansel Adams. Chappell believed that photographic imagery could reflect deeper, spiritual truths about the world and ourselves.
The photographer spoke of something he called “camera vision” to describe his rapport with nature: “Camera vision operates as an intelligent function between the human eyes and the totality of understanding in a moment of active awareness. No camera is needed for this experience, only the keen sensibility of the human mind.”
Chappell's images seek to present a fossil, an artifact of moments of perceiving. The objective behind the creation of a photograph is not to illustrate the power of photography. Such an approach hinders our direct experience of the world.
“The camera allows me to arrest my vision at that moment when my conscience intuitively experiences a reality most important for my awareness of life's essential presence,” Chappell once explained.
The purpose of technical mastery and keen precision in developing images was to let the camera become an extension of natural eyesight. For Chappell, the photograph is an externalization of our minds' ability to capture moments of beauty and truth in life.
The “Metaflora” series also aims to reveal the internal, unseen world of nature we are capable of perceiving, both with the mind's eye aided by spiritual reflection and with the real eye aided by image-capturing technology.
Arresting yet dynamic, the electron images show energy itself, pulsating within the apparent mediocrity of ordinary objects. Simultaneously, each dynamic photo can be felt as a moment of stillness.
“What you're seeing is the life force of the avocado. You're seeing the energy of the avocado,” said Shems Friedlander, senior lecturer at the AUC department of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of the Photographic Gallery. “Avocado” and the rest of the exhibited works are part of his private collection of Chappell's work. The photographer was a close friend and mentor to Friedlander.
“Metaflora” is his “homage to Walter, who deserves to be better known as a photographer,” he explained.
The exhibit also includes a number of traditional photographs of landscape and natural objects. These photos reveal virtuosity in technical skill typical of the Association of Heliographers which Chappell co-founded in New York as well as the American Southwest themes typical of Group f/64 with whom he worked in San Francisco. Along with his contemporaries, Chappell “used photography as a means of understanding nature and the nature of oneself,” said Friedlander.
The exhibition will be open at the Photographic Gallery on the Plaza level of Abdul Latif Jameel Hall at the AUC New Cairo campus until Nov. 4. By sharing his collection with the public, Friedlander hopes to introduce a unique form of photographic expression and help visitors to “see art as the true language of communication, that I believe is the only language that can be used to solve the problems of the world.”


Clic here to read the story from its source.