"The Kitchen III" - Cabbage Leaf - Philosophical Musings on Pastiche and Authenticity

The photographer Edward Weston took a photograph of a cabbage leaf in 1931 and since I saw that image, I have been hooked on the idea of ostranenie or defamiliarisation. If you have not seen my other posts, feel free to read more of my musings on this fascinating topic. ("The Kitchen I" and "The Kitchen II".)

Briefly: by placing a familiar object in an unfamiliar place, you can create an uneasy feeling for the viewer. This can either be because they expected something else, or because they cannot understand what they are viewing. The kitchen, as per this series, is for me a place in which you achieve this. I guess the same was true for Edward Weston as he took various images of fruits and vegetables. I am not sure if he did it for the reason I am doing it though. According to the Wikipedia page, he was fascinated by the textures of the fruits and vegetables.

In any case, it is interesting to me how we live in an era where there is nothing "new" happening. Take the photographs I present to you here. It is based on my "reading" (interpretation) of what Weston did. Pastiche is the correct term if I am correct. I am copying Weston, but not as a parody but in honor of how he took his image. It is in a celebratory sense. But even if this is the case, does this not speak volumes about our current era in which everything is basically a copy without an original? (This is what philosophers call the Simulacrum, a copy with no original, copies of copies.) There is basically no more content. This year's iPhone is basically a copy of the previous one, and if we go back far enough there is no original. Or maybe there is. Maybe the example I am giving here is not good. Maybe the example is itself a copy without a copy.

But is it not wonderful, even if these photographs are Simulacrums, copies without copies, how a mere image can make us look twice, take us away, and make us question that what we take for granted? I present to you some photographs of a cabbage leaf, a series of images inspired by Weston, a pastiche, blatant copying of his style, or is it? I am sorry if you are not philosophically inclined, and you read all of this. My mind is a strange place. Herewith are the photographs. Please enjoy.

(Some of the images have a black and white copy with them. All the images were taken with a Nikon D300 and a NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 AI lens, natural light.)

The Kitchen III

One

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Two

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Seven

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Eight

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Nine

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Ten

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Eleven

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