Casting Away

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~ by matt on 20 September 2009.

4 Responses to “Casting Away”

  1. hey there,
    beautiful shoot.
    must be great to be there, early morning, smell and touch the air..

  2. hi Utopian Fragments, thanks for visiting. I agree, this is a beautiful shoot–the credit should go to Tony Shi who composed the image. As a matter of fact, the image Tony’s posted at Flickr has a finer resolution than I could relay here.

    What I can tell you about the photo beyond that comes from having grown up in NYC. The photographer is positioned in Brooklyn (I’m guessing Williamsburg) with his camera facing west toward the sunset (not sunrise). The river is the East River and the buildings in the background are Manhattan’s east side.

    I’d say Tony’s image achieves some amazing manipulations of time. The silhouettes contrast static symbols of the modern (buildings) with the not-modern (the clothing and accessories of the people in the foreground). The people, chassidic Jews, are in fact performing an ancient ritual of symbolically casting away their sins (embodied by bits of bread) on the new year–consecrating a “break” in time with concrete action. Their sins (the bread bits) are taken away by the ever-flowing currents of the river, once and for all.

    There was only one instant on that day where the light was perfect enough to have allowed Tony’s shot to work so well, and I thank him for making this available via Flickr.

  3. hey matt, thank you for the explanations..
    as for the casting, if you can read hebrew i invite you to read this, which i wrote last year. i have no clue how to translate it (yet) not losing the feeling.

  4. sorry–explanations of תשליך were unnecessary–and THANK YOU–reading your poem תשליך has truly made my day, it’s a beautiful work!

    the gentle but insistent cycles your words set in motion and return to are magical and really are defiantly hebrew in nature–בעברית בבקשה they insist…and, once going, they won’t stop

    so i can see why translating your תשליך (to english at least) will be difficult and, if possible at all, the ‘right’ road may be the least direct–perhaps via a musical score, i will be ‘thinking’ more about this as your תשליך has already found a way to inhabit me–thank you again

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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