Daniel Marlos, is a Los Angeles based artist whose primary media of expression are photography, film and installation. For nearly 25 years, he has turned his cameras toward the people and architecture of Los Angeles, constructing an intimate portrait of the city through its buildings and their denizens. His latest body of work is even closer to home, focusing on his house and yard, revealing beauty through the mundane and domestic situations that surround his daily life and routines. He is currently designing the MTA bus station at Woodman for the Orange Line of rapid busses through the San Fernando Valley. Daniel teaches photography fulltime at Los Angeles City College and is an adjunct Foundation faculty member at Art Center College of Design.
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Dear Mr. Marlos, Could you tell me please the best way to capture the ONE TRUE MOMENT on film? By this, I mean, how can we put a memory of a person who meant so much to us in a photograph? How can this possible capture the enormity of the life experience? I am waiting to hear back from you! Anxiously yet peacefully yours, Irene
Dear Irene, A thing is so much more than the sum of its parts, and a photograph is no exception. A single image has a biased point of view, a solitary vantage point, and a quantifiable defined duration, none of which are characteristics of the enormity of life's experience. The secret answer to your query (an answer that should only be bestowed on the most enlightened minds and justifiably you must fall into that category), is that any photograph is merely a memory trigger (akin to a smell, or a sound, or a taste) that might eventually reveal the enormity of life's experience. The secret is in what lies outside the frame itself, in the offscreen space that exists in the interstitial zone between reality and our perception of it. The photograph is a trigger, a mnemonic device, that accesses the inner recesses of the human mind and the bond that forms between individuals. The memory exists outside the image itself. Revisiting the past in the mind or in a photograph can be dangerous since the details never change. We don't remember things as they really are, but as we prefer to remember them. Revisiting a long lost photographic location filled with fond memories, like White Tank campground in Joshua Tree for example, might produce an entirely new set of memories that might subvert the original memory. Having an open mind to new as well as established memories, to fantasy as well as reality, and to the known as well as the unknown, and seamlessly incorporating them all into the schemata of of an individual mind, is the secret to the enormity of life's experience. My own favorite realization to these notions is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. I remain,
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