Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Topography of Tears, by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Rose-Lynn Fisher's The Topography of Tears is one of the strangest, oddly beautiful coffee table books I've seen in a while.  The concept is simple: it is "a study of tears photographed through an optical microscope."  The simple, black-and-white extreme close-ups of tears are reminiscent of satellite landscape photos, microscopic photos of leaves or rocks, or ice crystals on a window pain.  Like snow, I guess you can conclude no two tear drops look alike.

She gives commentary or captions to some of the tears, like "Tears for those who yearn for liberation," or "Mom happy tears," or "Catharsis."  But I'm not sure there is any correlation between the look of tears and the kinds of emotions they evoke.

The pictures are oddly captivating, in an abstract art sort of way, but I'm not sure what inspiration or insight one might draw from them.  Maybe all Fisher is going for is to portray in an original way the universally shared experience of emotional tears.  Mission accomplished.  Grab a hanky.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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