Been a while seen I’ve been able to post, as I have been totally swamped with work, but expect a lot of new content in the next few days. I’m going to start off with a story that happened several weeks ago.
A couple Thursdays ago, my friends were messing around trying to find something to do, since none of them have class on Friday. When my friends or bored, either they create some awesome, or something goes terribly wrong. We happened to have a wooden stool in our kitchen, and Andrew got the bright idea for us to play stump using this stool. If you don’t know, stump is a drinking game usually played on a tree stump outside. Each player has a nail which they tap lightly into the stump. To make your opponent take a sip of their beer, you need to toss a hammer (yes, a hammer) upwards so that it rotates 1 full rotation. On its way down, you need to catch the hammer (ideally on the handle) and try to hit your opponents nail, all in one fluid motion (I’ve done the work for you and found a video). Now, it might sound dangerous. And frankly, it is, if you’re with a bunch of super drunk idiots. Luckily this was the first beer all of us had, which in the long run didn’t matter since we all sobered up immediately after this event.
So we’re stumping away, but this is a wooden stool, not a giant tree stump, and after a while the poor stool starts to show some cracks. After about 10 more minutes of playing, the stool was in shambles, missing large pieces and making it largely impossible to play on. So, like any ordinary kids, we decide to just beat the crap out of this stool and totally obliterate it! (Think of it as stress relief) So far it’s all fun and games, we’re just joking around and smacking this stool with a hammer. We decided it was time to end this thing and start raising the hammer high above our heads and crashing it down. Once. Twice. Three times. Then Neil grabs the hammer and brings it down on the stool. Instantly he falls to the ground, clutching his face and cries out “Oh God! Shit, I’m not OK!”
When he pulls his hands away from his face there is blood everywhere. His girlfriend starts freaking out. I grab an ice pack. Andrew tries to calm him down as we move towards the bathroom. As we’re walking, Neil cracks a smile and says, “Guess this is the end of my bowling career.” This is why we love Neil.
And then what do I do? I run into my room and grab my camera. For the next 10 minutes or so, 5 of us are packed in the bathroom as Andrew washes out Neil’s eye and uses a headlamp and a pair of tweezers to try to remove any debris from his eye. As his girlfriend looks on, I begin taking pictures, getting as close as possible without interfering with Andrew. There is no resistance.
Eventually Andrew says there’s nothing left that he can see, but now Neil’s eye is pretty swollen and he’s beginning to get worried. He keeps telling us that everything is blurry and that he cannot see very well. He starts to get dressed to go to the hospital, but eventually we convince him that it’s ok. Coincidentally, Neil’s father is an opthamologist, and so at midnight Thursday evening, Neil calls up his dad and proceeds to tell him what happens. The next day he went to a doctor and got some drops, and weeks later you can barely see the cut below his eye.
So obviously I’ve included some photographs in the gallery below, but what I loved about this whole event was the fact that I could get right in there and not have to think twice about taking pictures. I’ve been making pictures of these friends for over two years now and it’s what I am currently focusing on as a semester project, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it is I’m doing and what it means, if anything. I like to think it shows the intimacy of the relationships but also the idea that “everyday” moments can be totally crazy. Whether or not I’m making work that others can find merit in is up for debate, but I know that at a personal level, exploring my immediate surroundings in this way is incredibly rewarding.