L. Jorj Lark
Reflections, Refractions, and Interactions
Urban environments and traveling by train anywhere are exciting to me. They cause me to reflect on the nature of humankind. We have an incessant need to build, to take over space, insert ourselves – often without consideration to what was already there and how it might be ok if weleave it be. Iʼm interested in nature’s tenacity to will itself to exist where weʼve made it nearly impossible and how it engages with our built environment.
Construction sites are beautiful. And daunting. Big, and loud, and full of decisions that may or may not include the needs of the people or communities they are intended to serve. Still I get entranced by the beauty of the forms, the spaces and especially the colors of construction sites in the night. One can see the skeletons of these great behemoths for only a short time. Soon they will go from rough guts and lights to streamlined glass and stone.
While the site is active, the rhythms of the workers, the booming of the machines, the grit and grind generate adrenaline. Itʼs addictive. Then the quiet calm of shooting at night is an adventure all on its own – I set up my photographic rig and am consumed by some mythical world that stands large before me.
Roaming the landscape on trains is another way for me to observe and understand the scale of our intrusions on the terrain – some are lyrical and beautiful a perfect cohabitation of people and the rest of nature. But it often doesnʼt take long to see where weʼve imposed ourselves disrespectfully. These reflections, refractions, interactions of our organic world with our built one give me a wild sense of joy and sometimes a desperate sense of impending apocalypse. Still I love being here.
In walking through life, L. Jorj Lark is thrilled by the minutia and the mundane—by things most folks just pass by without a thought, by things that make them shake their heads should they see what’s actually being photographed as if it were really wondrous and special and worth contemplating.
Lark started came up with this notion of “urbanstutter” — that we walk through our lives in the city mostly engaged in our heads (our devices being an extension) without realizing how many worlds we are inhabiting at one time. We’re in chronic repetition trying to coalesce a whole. Our body, our relationships, our past and present walk through a city of decisions made billion-fold each day—physical decisions with physical ramifications as well as emotional, relational ones.
The almost literal part of this notion of urban stutter is the repeating of our lives and environment in the environment itself: The reflections of our bodies as we pass by glass buildings, and of skies, and other buildings. But can reflections be literal? At the same time we’re seemingly always in a state of tearing down and rebuilding. Never quite mastering the quality of complete. Our chronic building reflecting our nature as a species. From there I began paying attention to the relationship between the built environment and nature itself—the tangents and juxtapositions. This all came from a fundamental delight in Lazlo Moholy-Nagy’s pursuit of light.
Lark also photographs based on a notion of place: What we think of when we think of a city name, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt. What images are conjured vs. what a day in the life actually presents – rather than an image of the Eiffel Tower Lark will show us a tree from the top of Montmartre to represent Paris for example. This ongoing exploration has become quite abstract and very fulfilling with photographs ranging from very gritty direct representations to very painterly, visceral abstract explorations of light, space, color, and texture. So the exercise of looking at our environment through a variety of lenses is also part of the notion of urban stutter.
Self taught in the streets and clubs of Boston, Lark is now learning what the streets of New York, Paris and Berlin have to say. Fundamentals were earned at the Boston Architectural College and Boston University.
Recent exhibitions include juried shows:
2018 American Splendour at ilon Art Gallery, NYC
2017 What the World Needs Now show at Atlanta Celebrates Photography
Once upon a time print:
Lark photographed bands for now-defunct The Noise and Boston Rock as well as for musician promotions and albums