Kaitlyn A. Kramer
Kaitlyn A. Kramer writes about art and film in New York. She holds an MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the School of Visual Arts.
“Photographs really are experience captured,” writes Susan Sontag in On Photography. The camera’s appropriation of living moments, freezing them as images, “feels like knowledge—and, therefore, like power.” When still images are extracted, they are dissociated from their context and, over time, distill the events they represent.
Theophrastus is thought to be the first person to send a message in a bottle out to sea. In 310 BCE, in an attempt to prove the water in the Mediterranean Sea flowed from the Atlantic Ocean, the Greek philosopher sealed a message in a bottle that asked its recipient to send word from wherever it was found.
The painting hangs in waiting. A woman’s seated body, snug within the frame, is cropped to reveal only a neck, torso, and arms that support her upper body in repose.