Studio

Karsh of Ottawa (Yousuf Karsh, 1908-2002; https://karsh.org) studied stage lighting at the Ottawa Little Theatre, and dramatic lighting was one of the hallmarks of his portraits. In his iconic image of Humphrey Bogart, for instance, a dedicated spotlight delineated the smoky detail of Bogart’s cigarette.

Toward the end of his life, Karsh moved all the way south to Boston, where he died. But half of Canada spends the winter in Hawaii, and you see that Karsh’s successor enterprise now lives southerly on in deeper winter quarters.

A clock in the dark

reveals an idea latent in the idea of the seen. An optic anti-form, shadow shapes unseenness into a law of shadow’s nature and imposes its code moment by moment upon the territories that it has separated from light. The new regime is named dark, and within its boundaries hands can no longer be seen in front of faces. Under dark’s restrictive new law, the clock and its own hands and face have been replaced by an unseen, unthought metaphor.

Seen and thought, then: beakshadow and capacious birdbrain.