The Minimalist Approach
This article was originally published in August 2014.
We all perceive time to be a continuous flow of enmeshed events that make up our lives. Each event can be broken down into a series of happenings. I have often thought of time as an infinite set of building blocks, balanced one on top of the other. What if we somehow managed to pull out just one of those blocks? Would the rest fall into some cosmic mixer and reorder themselves? Or would they just cease to exist?
In the context of all the time that has been and will be, how irrelevant is the fraction of a second trapped behind a camera’s shutter? And yet, when we add the time we spend on the meaning and sentiment behind that moment, could there be anything more important than that minuscule sliver of reality? If the tiniest moment can be so significant, what about the smallest space, or the simplest object, or the thinnest line? If we keep seeking meaning in everything, would these seemingly unsubstantial things become more than what they really are?
Conversely, the question is… do we need these to be anything more than what they are? Does it matter? Do we really need to justify the presence of everything in our frames and provide specific reasons? Why must we be interpretative and act as the mediator between what is and what must be seen? If we care to interpret, would that still remain the truth, or our version of the truth? Are we more interested in letting others know of our construction and reconstruction of what is, or are we more concerned about capturing reality simply as it exists? Can something exist without reason or meaning, because it just does?
Would we fail to notice something even though we may look at it, because we always need a reason to see it? Can we train our eyes to search for it? Can we teach ourselves to exclude what is unnecessary from our frames and retain that which is needed? Can we be minimalist?
— K Madhavan Pillai
Tags: K Madhavan Pillai, February 2011, Editorial, Minimalism, meaning, interpretation, the image, construction, reconstruction, frame, existence, reality