Columns and Crosswalks

By: Gustav Hoiland

May 19 2010

Category: street

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Focal Length:40mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80


This is MIT in the rain as seen by yours truly. It’s a mess of stripes, textures, ambiguous distances, and whatever else you want to see in it.

I’ll start with the perhaps the most distinctive aspect of it, those ghostly reflected columns that establish whatever they belong to as some kind of a monument. Something of importance. An institution of significant power and likely sizable wealth, able to afford the expense of outfitting its structures with multistory grandiose columns. Here they’re turned upside down. Does that matter? Or perhaps they’re sinking into the earth, like the roots of a tree that extend far beneath the surface.

Standing visually above this depth are two figures. One outfitted in plain jeans and an unremarkable shirt, likely your average casual college student. The other figure is decked out in something more thought out and layered. I’m not entirely sure what, but there’s an overbearing theme of darkness in the dress. Can meaning be found in this hooded figure staring across the void?

What’s important about the stripes of the crosswalk somehow resonating with the stripes created by the steps in the background? It’s like every distance that must be traveled involves some transversing of horizontal lines.

Are all of the above ramblings potential thoughts some future art historian could have about this photo, one of the early works by the great gustavious photographus? (one potential career path) Or will they discover this blog post and read right here that this was really nothing more than a composition that caught my eye by chance whilst walking around with really no deeper meaning?

Ahhh, MIT.

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