There is a sweet group on flickr called THE SOUL OF THINGS FOR PEPA. Today the image (above) was invited – I accepted and headed over to take a look. The images are exceptionally curated by Pepa Cometa – and I am honored to be included.
Psychometry (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, “spirit, soul” and μέτρον, metron, “measure”), also known as token-object reading, or psychoscopy, is a form of extrasensory perception characterized by the claimed ability to make relevant associations from an object of unknown history by making physical contact with that object. Simply put – it claims that one can touch or hold an object and know everything about that object.
Maybe we all have a little of that – or at least the people who have been curated into this group before me – seem too. I see my long time friend, Terry Fotherington has images there. His work is wonderful. As is the work of Zach Larson and Nattie. Perhaps what is happening in this body of work is that the photographers are making their own ‘relevant associations’ about an object or group of objects, and therein lies the soul.
The New York Times published an interesting opinion piece today by Hisham Matar, called Books Can Take You Places Donald Trump Can’t Go.
In it he writes,
“…All great art allows us this: a glimpse across the limits of our self. These occurrences aren’t merely amusing or disorientating or interesting experiments in “virtual reality.” They are moments of genuine expansion. They are at the heart of our humanity. Our future depends on them. We couldn’t have gotten here without them.”
It’s an insightful read that speaks to the complexities that art allows us to experience. He is talking specifically about reading literature, but I would posit that this works for photography as well. The ‘genuine expansion’ of which he speaks can be felt in the souls of these objects.