As a lot of my Twitter followers have probably guessed, I’ve recently been going through a bit of a David-Lynch-filmography-binge-watching marathon. And, as always, I’m struck by Lynch’s interest in taking ordinary objects and locations and investing them with layers of hidden meaning. Whether it’s his long, lingering shots of the windy forests that surround Twin Peaks or the strange little close-up shots of ceiling fans and traffic lights that serve as codas to close certain scenes, the world of Lynch is one in which mystery is conjured not by the extraordinariness of one’s environment, but rather by the suggestion of a dark, complex meaning hidden beneath the superficial surface of the ‘ordinary.’ Like Kyle Machlachlan’s character in Blue Velvet whose discovery of a severed ear in a field leads him on a terrifying odyssey to uncover the darknesses that lie hidden in his wholesome hometown, the eye of Lynch’s camera directs the viewer to deeply reconsider the very nature of banality; to read objects as symbols rather than mere ‘things’; to look beyond a surface and see a reality, whether that reality is dark or redemptive (or both).
I took this photograph a week ago, partly because the fog was magically eerie, but also because there was something in the prospect that really evoked that peculiarly Lynchian gaze. Fog has an uncanny way of robbing a familiar landscape of its comforting familiarity, and that very uncanniness put me in mind of Lynch’s method of having the viewer look long and deeply at what, under normal circumstances, might have earned little more than a glance.
Remember: the owls are not what they seem.
This post is in response to the State of Mind Photo Challenge.