SHE LOOKS INTO ME / Afterword
It is only fitting to have begun She Looks into Me with a poem. The poet, Paul Éluard, once told a painter “you hold the flame between your fingers and paint like a fire”, sometime around completing his own poem, Victory of Guernica. From the title of the poem one can surmise that painter to be Pablo Picasso, however the focus is on the relation between the poet and the artist or more specifically the kinship formed between two mediums. Poetry for its part demands consideration for the literal and figurative meanings and in particular how these meanings interact and intersect. This then is coupled with the fact that the subject and form need to be taken into consideration as well as the context and style. In essence, it is a subjective matter. In contrast, photography is a medium that at least on its surface level can be readily understood. I would suggest photographer’s never truly control the meaning of their photographs, but in contrast to poetry can more or less have their say and expect a sufficient degree of understanding. It is with this conflict of mediums that beginning She Looks into Me with a poem takes on more than simple poetic undertones or loose surrealist aesthetic correlations as the book itself should be read into as a poem. This comes in stark contrast to Moreira’s previous two books that focused on the thoughts of strangers, followed by the artist’s own subconscious thoughts with State of Mind and ZONA (respectively). The work here comes off much more vague, where beyond the titles Being, Becoming, and Unbecoming nothing more is given. Which then places the demand upon the viewer for its literal and figurative meaning with the photos themselves interacting and intersecting with each other. The poem suggests as much with the line “unknowing heart,” and it is with that that this work should be viewed. Curiosity now becomes everything in experiencing She Looks into Me. This again comes in comparison to his last two books is precisely what becomes the fun. With State of Mind, the joy was appreciating the wit in the everyday juxtapositions he created with his camera while observing others in their mind states as they went about their day. ZONA brought out the artists own subconscious and we were guests invited to understand this manifestation. What is then left, but to turn the perspective around, and place the responsibility of the work’s meaning and significance onto the viewer? This is a challenge more or less presented through a dialogue of what it is and what you want it to be. The point of the three chapters then becomes heightened with this sentiment as the viewer essentially exists before coming into the book, thus being. Through the first chapter of photos we are effectively becoming or really developing into our concept of hopefully what the artist takes each individual in to. Finally it leads to an unbecoming as the experience of She Looks into Me concludes. A process akin to self realization…equivalent to the experience of that of a poem…albeit a photographic one.
She Looks into Me - Afterword by Jesse Freeman