So what’s the first thing you do when you arrive in Iceland?
Eat Thai food and take in Vincent Versace’s evening lecture at the University of Rekjavik. Of course! Actually, who knew?
Vincent gave a passionate lecture to stunned crowd for nearly two and a half hours. Was this stand up comedy? Confession? Or, philosophy? Yes!
Half the time I thought, “This guy’s crazy. He’s absolutely possessed.” The other half of the time I thought, “I must be crazy. I agree with almost everything he’s saying.” What comes out of his mouth is very different than the words that come out of my mouth. The images that he makes are very different than the images I make. And I find that extremely stimulating. Nevertheless, in spirit, there’s a real felt kinship. Vincent has made something Ernst Haas said his personal mantra, “Don’t take pictures. Be taken by pictures.” It’s truly great advice. And Vincent has a lot of good ideas about how we can all let that happen.
Vincent’s a trained improvisational actor. It shows in his presentations. It shows in his pictures. A woman from the audience asked him about his relationship with the people he photographs. The images seem extremely candid. Did he feel he was intruding? Vincent’s answer came kinetically. He left the room and reentered it in a way that changed the audience’s relationship to him. Then he asked his questioner to do the same. And he continued in that vein. Vincent has a big heart and you see it not only in the way he relates to an audience but in the way he relates to his subjects and how they relate to him. And you see and feel it in his pictures. That’s much more important than craft. And not talked about enough in photography.
It was a thoroughly unique evening and thoroughly enjoyable.
Find out more about Vincent Versace here.
My lecture’s next – Thursday, August 21st at 7 pm at …
So … if you’re in Rekjavik, stop by.
Find out more here.