after Spencer Finch, ‘56 Minutes (after Kawabata), Spring’ (2004)
A woman’s eye floated up before him. He almost called out... But he
had been dreaming, and when he came to himself, he saw that it was
only the reflection in the window of the girl opposite. Outside it was
growing dark, and the lights had been turned on in the train,
transforming the window into a mirror.
– Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country (1934-48)
Nine photographs, each taken seven minutes after
Finch has hitherto exhibited two sequences each
the previous, a total of fifty-six minutes in all, starting
of seven photographs of the same view entitled
with bare trees in a darkening landscape, closing
42 minutes, Winter and 42 minutes, Summer,
in upon a door. Happenstance? A mere flirtation
as if there were not just a sequence but a
with a whim of light? But why mention Spring? Why
sequence of sequences and something within them
‘after Kawabata’? Is the sequence itself a mirror? And
would not let him go, adding eventually another two
what then? And when is a door not a door?
images like extra carriages heading through
This poem is in response to the photograph, '56 Minutes (after Kawabata), Spring’ (2004)
by Spencer Finch and forms part of the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2020.