after Spencer Finch, ‘56 Minutes (after Kawabata), Spring’ (2004)

         A woman’s eye floated up before him. He almost called out... But he
         had been dreaming, and when he came to himself, he saw that it was
         only the reflection in the window of the girl opposite. Outside it was
         growing dark, and the lights had been turned on in the train,
         transforming the window into a mirror.

                              – Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country (1934-48)


Nine photographs, each taken seven minutes after
         Finch has hitherto exhibited two sequences each
the previous, a total of fifty-six minutes in all, starting
         of seven photographs of the same view entitled  
with bare trees in a darkening landscape, closing
         42 minutes, Winter and 42 minutes, Summer,
in upon a door. Happenstance? A mere flirtation
         as if there were not just a sequence but a
with a whim of light? But why mention Spring? Why
         sequence of sequences and something within them
‘after Kawabata’? Is the sequence itself a mirror? And
         would not let him go, adding eventually another two
what then? And when is a door not a door?
         images like extra carriages heading through  



This poem is in response to the photograph, '56 Minutes (after Kawabata), Spring’ (2004)
by Spencer Finch and forms part of the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2020.

Read the full poem >