The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Quarter

No Quarter
Originally uploaded by dou_ble_you
Flickr's dou_ble_you, that wily, fertile mind, prods mine with his video, "No Quarter", and I cry out:

"Life, a gamble? - I give nor take no quarter"
One minute, twenty-nine seconds of video, more engaging than eighty-nine photographs. The eye is captivated, the ears alert, and the mind sent into a whirl. I walk with you through through streets, full of people rushing somewhere, perhaps nowhere of note, perhaps just not to be where they were; we find ourselves dancing, gloved, bedecked, and elegant, dancing to music we see but do not hear; and thereafter encounter the horror of violent death, and the tragedy of chance survival. The dogs, they got us, not just nipped our heels, they wiped us out. Dice we may seem like on the roulette wheel of life, some rising, some falling, one loses both arms to steel driven too fast, the other their mind to Alsheimers, and we know not why. Life a gamble? What's there to gain?--nothing we can keep, besides character. What's there to lose? --everything ephemeral, even our breath? Have we no control over our destiny, other than the choices we think we make? Do those choices matter? Like character, perhaps they are all we are left with. But perhaps they matter more than we could ever have guessed. Perhaps! You touched me with eighty-nine seconds of video, you took a gamble, and it spoke. I give no quarter! It was worth it!
--John Walford, Feb 4, 2009

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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United States
I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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