From what and at what point can we considered something is in motion? In the explication text wrote by Amir Zaki about his serie “Time Moves Still”, the photographer begins by an Alan Watts’ quotation.
“To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still ; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.”
In his photographs the concepts of movement and stillness become a real paradox : an experience “of dynamic time and ever so-slow movement”. Both subjects, “Tree portrait” and “Coastline Cliffside”, are emphasised thanks to an image framing which isolates them for the rest. On one side the elegance and the particular characteristics of each tree, on the other side the complex and disparate coastline cliffside. Both appears static but are in constant movement. Amir Zaki tries then to highlight this reality combining in each representation between 40 to 100 individual images. Now, if you look at these photographs with a watchful eye, maybe you will see the effect of the wind in the trees or distinct shadows and discrepancies of lighting in the coastline cliffsides.
© Photos : Amir Zaki
Tell me more about you, what is your story?
I like philosophy, both Eastern and Western. I look for the good stuff and try to cultivate it in my life. I approach philosophical ideas like I would approach walking through an orchard. I pluck the best fruit and enjoy it fully. I ignore the rotten ones. And, I save some seeds to plant later.
I recoil from dogmas. The other details and facts about my childhood, etc. won’t tell anyone more about who I am becoming moment to moment.
Where does your passion for photography come from? your approach?any influences?
I have found photography to be the most natural way to express and transform the world I experience into objects of contemplation and visual engagement. My approach is organic, meaning that I work from a very vague sense of curiosity and slowly, slowly fine tune my interests into hopefully cohesive bodies of work. I am influenced as much by work I don’t like as I am by work I do like. So, for that reason, the entire history of photography as I understand it is highly influential. The same idea extends to the history of art.
What advices would you like to give to a young photographer?
I hesitate to give advice to anyone these days. I’m happy to share my experiences with anyone who asks.
What books are on your bedside tables on this moment?
I listen to a ton of podcasts and audio such as Partially Examined life, stuff from the Teaching Company. But, books I’m looking at recently include: In Praise of Shadows. Two books on the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi. Realizing the Genjokoan. The Road. Zen and the Art of Postmodern Philosophy. James Welling: Monograph. Hiroshi Sugimoto. Evan Holloway. Moby Dick. The Plague. And a lot of essays that I come across.
Things you would like to share with us (any website, picture, proverb, fun stuff, …)?
So, a skeleton walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “Gimme a beer…and a mop!”
Your small pleasures?
Is there a difference between small and large pleasures? Green Tea. Cheesecake. Playing Tai Chi. Friends. Family. Yoga. Swimming. Surfing. Fish Tacos. Intimacy. (In no particular order)
Some things absurd you would like to do now?
I do absurd things every day. I think absurdly even more often.