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Searching for a lead image for our show “The Far Shore of Aging” with Jane Gross, I happened upon this fabulous photograph titled “Late adventures at Arco de São Jorge.” The dynamic nature of the composition of elderly people walking in the surf coupled with the saturated colors is exquisite. And the juxtaposition of a vibrant, healthy couple navigating the rocky shores with the need of a balancing stick illustrates their vitality and fragility all at once. Oh, and don’t you just love that splash of red of the lady’s bathing suit!

Nevertheless, I decided against using this photo because it was too “easy” for our purposes. This photo would’ve represented more of an idea rather than the grounded intimacy of an aging, fully sentient human being. Here, we’re looking at their backs, but we never see their faces, which perhaps compels us to think of far-off ideas and themes. All quite lovely, but, as it relates the subject matter of Krista’s conversation with Jane Gross, too abstract. 

I wanted the viewer to embrace the face and the eyes, the deep intimacy of a person who is not one of the “elderly” but an individual who remains vibrant and changing, that individual’s relationship to the caregiver, and a sense of the caregiver’s pain and love, frustration and anger. 

(photo: alex@Tlön/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

(via beingvisual)


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8 Comments

Love your interpretation of the image! It also represents hope that we all have the potential to be this adventurous someday too.

What wonderful and dynamic photo. The obvious message, but such a strong sense of movement, undertow.

I wish American society was more respectful and honored the elderly.  They are one of the most discriminated against group.  We should be seeking their counsel for their wisdom and experience.  No one asks to get old, and it happens to all of us.  This image is wonderful because this couple is still living.  I hope she feels sexy in her red bathing suit!


...because we are a society that worships the idol Beauty but its general denotation in our world of tight butts and firm parts cannot see the beauty that is found in aging, especially physical beauty. And because Joan Rivers is the quintessential vulgarity of our societies "denotation"!!

Love it! The soft curves and ripples of their skin are in visual harmony with the ocean waves. A very cool photo for a lot of different reason. Thanks for sharing it.

I love the idea that though they  are elderly, they are fearless .That kind of curiosity and adventurous spirit inspires me

Agreed. I guess a lot of this insight is based on what perspective your seeing their adventure.

I see this wonderful couple as standing on the edge of the abyss.  They're safe for the moment but one false step, one wave larger than the others and their world could change forever.  Do they mind?  No, they have chosen not to play it safe, to edge up to that divide, to exult.  Bravo!

apples