The Snog

Canadian Snog

Canadian Snog

In Greece they riot about the economy, in England it’s globalisation, while in Canada…….it’s Ice Hockey. Yes, thats right, the nicest country in the work have just had horrendous riots over an Ice Hockey game. Odd that the world view of Canada is generally fairly positive but rioting over Ice Hockey? This puts them in league with English football supporters.

However, something else occurred during the recent riots. Either a wonderful photographic moment or a cynical example of how the media manipulates us all.

Robert Doisneau's kiss

Robert Doisneau's kiss

In 1950 Robert Doisneau created an iconic photograph of a couple kissing in Paris. Fantastic! Yet in the 1980s he revealed that the photograph was, in fact, posed – What a let down.

Now, in Canada, a wonderful photograph has emerged by Richard Lam depicting a couple lying on the ground in the middle of a riot – kissing.

But is it real? – The rumours are already percolating through the International press.

I find painting and photography a phenomenal art. Take an oblong of flat space and splash some colours over it. Surely there can only be so many patterns? So many images? But no. The patterns and images are endless. In fact there are an infinite number of patterns but more than that there are an infinite number of  ways to interpret the image. The iconic aspect of photography is  interesting. A photograph can grab the public imagination and crystalize an idea or an attitude. Think of the photo of the nakend Vietnamese girl injured by napalm by  Nick Ut or the picture of Saint Paul’s cathedral amidst the smoke of the London blitz by Herbert Mason or even the recent photo of President Obama and other United States leaders watching the demise of Osama Bin Laden.

These images are burned onto the global retina and yet, like a painting, if these images are shown to be fakes then they somehow debase the very subject they depict.

Let’s hope the Canada Kiss is authentic.

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