Things Once Seen.
Photographs by Ricard Quinney.
University Of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 2008. 192 pp., 167 duotone illustrations, 8x9½".
This retrospective of photographs spans a period of forty years. Each photograph, each act of photographing, has been an attempt to stop time, to capture what is happening in the moment, and to preserve the moment for posterity. The photographer frames the subject, and seemingly gives witness to an order in the universe. But the photographer knows that, as Henri Cartier-Bresson has reminded us, nothing can really bring back the moment of things fixed in the photograph. And nothing can bring back that moment in the life of the photographer. In the wisdom of Buddhism, “all things are impermanent.”
Photographs, these photographs of things once seen, are a reminder of the impermanence of all things. But what the photographer once saw and caught on film may be given another life when others see the photographs at a later time. For the photographer, the act of photographing has been an intimate part of the process of living a life. This body of work, accompanied by journal notes, is a record of what the photographer once saw, and is a window to the life once lived.