Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday Flaneur (5) - Frenetic flamenco


There are two high-traffic, and therefore very profitable, busking areas within the city. One is Pitt Street Mall, the other is the Circular Quay concourse. Each requires a licence.


Flaneur (n). A person who strolls the city in order to appreciate it.
Last week Brattcat enquired whether I considered myself of the Beaudelaire or Sontag school.
Sontag maintains that The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept at the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world 'picturesque'. I neither reconnoitre, stalk nor cruise. However, I do empathise and try to walk in others' shoes. On the other hand, Baudelaire was said to hold that a flaneur was a man of the people who enters into the life of his subjects with passion ... a botanist of the sidewalk. That seems closer to the mark.

22 comments:

James said...

Excellent photos!

Clytie said...

The lighting in these pictures is perfect - sets a mysterious mood. I love how you included the reaching hand in the first one! And I agree - Baudelaire fits more than Sontag.

Very well done!

lizziviggi said...

I agree with Clytie-- the quality of the light is amazing! I've told you before how much I love your photos of people, but I rarely have the courage to do it myself. Do you get permission from people when you take their pics, or not?

Susan said...

A Botanist of the People...that's a lovely phrase, adn your photos are lovely as well. Wonder if he's reading music, or checking out the weather forecast...

Lois said...

I tend to agree! These are beautiful shots as always Julie. I wish we had busking areas here.

jabblog said...

'A botanist of the sidewalk' - what a superb phrase and a lovely description of a 'flaneur'

Joan Elizabeth said...

Yep a botanist of the sidewalk is definitely what you are ... and in fact having those very words in your head may influence your activity even further. You have caught this man in beautiful light.

PurestGreen said...

These photos are amazing. I love the sharpness, the light on the guitar, the shape of his body in the first shot. Woohoo!

Serge Cornillet said...

Good moments of a Flamenco musician, the light is perfect.
Nice.:-D
Serge

Bill said...

Beaudelaire was right when he described a flâneur as "a person who walks the city in order to experience it" and if you happen to capture it on film or a chip that;s great. As you have done with this guitarist.

Margo said...

ooooh - I love that - "a botanist of the sidewalk" And you photos are lovely and capture great moments (I like the phone and blue sneaker)

Ann said...

I would think Martin Place was another profitable busking area. This guy looks familiar, he looks a little older but reminiscent of the boy I caputured down by the Quay one very wet evening a year or so back.

I agree with Sontag on the voyeuristic aspect of photography, I glimpse moments of people's lives and often spend time wondering about them and what the moment I have captured really says.

Vicki said...

I love the light on the body of the guitar.

I'm really enjoying seeing your photographs. Thanks!

Vicki said...

Captivating. Of all your photos, these Friday Flaneurs are my favourite shots.

Marka said...

Good tunes, I hope.

brattcat said...

You have an uncanny ability to 'enter the life of your subjects.' You capture their essence and then you use natural light to illuminate their inner and outer core. Remarkable shots, these. Thank you, Julie.

Jilly said...

That first shot of the guitarist plus portable telephone is priceless.

Julie said...

Lizzie, During 2009, together with others, I took the 100 Strangers challenge. There is a link on the side-bar. There, I always asked. However, for this blog I never ask. The essence of what I do is to capture life as it occurs, not to have it alter it for the camera. Not to capture the "public face" but the inner core. There is a conflict here with ownership of self-image, I realise that. However, that has only arisen in this age of the media-feeding-frenzy.

Julie said...

Joan, indeed you are right. The more I have the concept of "flaneur" in my head, the more my blogging is heading toward the celebration of life as lived by ordinary people. However, I link that with my interest in history, and celebrate the lives of ordinary people through time.

Ann, I don't consider what I do as "voyeuristic" at all. There is an undertone to that word that is not applicable at all. However, I am a life-long "people-watcher". This blog gives a voice and a text to a simple non-invasive, and non-continuing past-time. "Non-continuing" in an individual sense. All my watching of individuals does not really pertain to the individual but rather to the human condition.

Shelle said...

'enters into the life of his subjects with passion'

I think that's a great description of you Julie, and it definitely reflects here, he surely picked the perfect place, at least for his photo lol. did you pay him? (jk) i've always been totally fascinted by people over the world, from their quirkly mannerisms to their brash customs. I so enjoyed 'living among the ordinary' if there is truly any such thing. I've come to believe that any course is it's own, but we're each reliant on another. this guy looks like he's from spain or portugal, or maybe south american.

TheChieftess said...

Both of the bottom two would be wonderful for album covers...love the humor or the top one!!!

J Bar said...

Terrific shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs