Towards a New American Standard of Perfection

17/12/2010 § Leave a comment

white silkie pullet (copyright tamara staples)

alright, perfection might not be the right word.  in fact, perfection doesn’t seem to be the point of tamara staples‘ fowl portraits.  certainly not the type of perfection sought by the american standard of perfection, a set of guidelines used to ensure the beauty of the fowl is appropriately measured.  a breeder must compare their efforts towards the pre-established standards set out in the literature graphically and verbally defining a perfect pure-breed.  a standard of perfection maintained by the american poultry association in order to ensure the future farmers of america know beauty when they see it.

but this isn’t what interests tamara staples.  tamara’s photography is centered on capturing a poultry personality.  personality is inherently messy.  which is part of what makes her photographs so capturing.  there can’t possibly be a perfect personality.  and there really can’t be a perfect fowl either.   so, how does one view this silkie?  i look at the above photograph and think, “comically cute furry chicken.  something between elizabeth taylor and mr. magoo.”  are the legs of this silkie too long?  yes, most likely your guess is as good as mine.

its perplexing to think about the absurdity of mankind.  we’ve created an animal whose soul purpose is to be perfect, a perfection which didn’t exist prior to someone thinking it up.  and silkies didn’t exist prior to someone thinking that a silkie like thing  should exist so we can photograph it.  in the end, this may mean that a living breathing three dimensional being was created to get as close to a perfect two dimensional image.  this is perfectly weird.

thanks to tamara for passing along the above photograph.  i recommend checking out her capturing and thought provoking poultry portraits.

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