Submission No. 53

From Miriam:

I think the whole series, or at least what Jamil Hellu has posted on his website, bears consideration:

http://www.jamilhellu.net/55613/649257/work/guardians-of-the-golden-gate

Oh, I am entranced by this work (and his other work, which I’ve just discovered…I especially love the loving portrait series, Darrin.)

Jamil Hellu, from the series Guardians of the Golden Gate

—-

THE RIFF:

What this says to me is: our idiosyncratic superheroes are hilarious. I think that we are, all of us, whether we are aware of it or not, hilarious at our core. Our failed attempts to control outcomes, made again and again. Our stumbles. Our misconceptions. Our unavoidably limited capacity for cognition, for observation, for perspective, based on our neurological and physical and geo-spatial confinement in… just one body… at just one point time and space continuum!

Just a human being, ANY human being, standing next to ANY object is hilarious. The object is there, undeniable. And so are we, in a physical sense. But then there is, in one of the two, a racing thought-process, a tendency to blush, a need to pass gas, a tentative smile, an itch behind the left knee, a sense of chagrin. This is the silent symphony happening inside every human being at every moment, and it is ungainly, beautiful, touching, banal, overblown, contradictory — so many things at once — but mostly it is hilarious.

I see this series of photographs as a comic book that has been dipped into a chemical solution and drained of its pretention, its portentousness, its fantasy. Instead it is rendered in photo-realism, a straight take on human folly and resilience. We are, each of us, so small. So hapless. Makes you laugh.

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