Ekphrastacy: Evolution: “Amritsar, India/Two Birds” and “Overpass/Bangkok”
(Top, from left to right, Amritsar, India/Two Birds and Overpass/Bangkok)
by Jill Lange
Amritsar, India/Two Birds and Overpass/Bangkok
by Garie Waltzer
Usually when I visit, or view a photograph
of, an unfamiliar foreign city I scan first for a few things:
presence of animals, English words,
and familiar items as markers.
In Amritsar: birds more than two; a Coke sign,
immigration poster, and swastikas on an ancient building
(this is a holy city, 99% Hindu and Sikh;
these swastikas have nothing to do with Hitler),
In Bangkok: a tree, a pot of flowers, English posters
a woman with a stars and stripes bag. No animals.
These scenes were recorded a few years ago;
this poet is observing now. After months of isolation
I am struck by the sight of people everywhere,
the density of these populations. One wonders whether
we will see crowds even half this size again.
Today, parts of Bangkok, also a holy city,
are already one meter (3ft, 3 in) below sea level.
And climate change is not the only immediate problem
these cultures and our planet face.
Take another look at these photographs.
Garie Waltzer, Artist: Amritsar, India/ Two Birds, is from the project Living City, an examination of the cultural landscape of urban spaces. Filled with intimate details of street life while sharing a view of the gestalt, this ongoing project explores the transformative connections between history, topography, social beliefs, and the built environment. Packing the frame with dense iconography and intentionally leveling the hierarchy of information allows for a long meander through the details of a place. Waltzer embraces the serendipity of the walking/looking process, searching for the right place to stand amidst ever-changing spatial and temporal alignments, hoping to record that ineffable sense of place.
A few years ago Waltzer began working in color in Southeast Asia, continuing to explore the urban cultural landscape. Overpass/Bangkok is part of the ongoing series Armature for Stories, in which the architecture and infrastructure of social spaces create a stage for intimate narratives of place and time.
Jill Lange, Poet: Jill comes to poetry from a varied background in art, English and environmental education; interior design; technical writing and editing; and poverty law specializing in immigration. These influences including a life-long connection with nature and ongoing sense of social justice can be seen peppering her work. For a number of years she served on the editorial committee for “Tributaries, a journal of nature writing” published by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Currently, she is focusing on short poems, primarily haiku, senryu and tanka. Her work has been published widely in the US and internationally both online and in print.
Please enjoy this video for Ekphrastacy August 2020 in Response to Evolution:
To learn more about our current exhibition, Evolution, click here
To learn more about our Literary programs, click here