Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Violinist

There are two men in the foreground of the photo who represent the main focus. They are positioned at two separate heights, which creates the first kind of asymmetry within the photograph. Not only does the man playing the violin seem to be commanding the attention of each being in the image, but he also holds a less obvious power. At first glance, the violin appears as a rifle or weapon of some kind to be utilized as an assassination device. Therefore, as a result of both his height and positioning, the musician represents an ultimate power that the rest of humanity cannot escape. Despite this fact, the violinist himself is left unprotected from the cruelties of the rocky earth. He may be above his fellow man, but he is still trapped in another asymmetric portion of the photograph. There is a dividing line between the jagged rocks of the men and the sky. The sky has a soft and clear value-- it is man's polar opposite. The men are portrayed in tones as rough as the earth beneath them; they are not separate from the suffering they inflict. They are shown in a setting that should not reveal their melancholy, but not even music can smooth their edges. From this final observation, it can be inferred that the photographer may have intended to demonstrate the ultimate passivity of war.