Julie Blackmon and Convergences

In the mid–2000s, I was completely taken by the book “Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences,” written by Lawrence Weschler and beautifully published by McSweeney’s. Weschler surfaced “strange connections” between images and wrote about them intriguingly. I still think of the book when I come across an image — a photograph, a painting, a movie moment — that brings to mind another one.

I spent part of this evening with Julie Blackmon’s absorbing book of photographs, “Midwest Materials.” Blackmon has some intentional allusions in her photographs, but others I think just come from the consciousness of the viewer.

There’s something, for instance, about the turf and peculiar (and menacing) objects in her photograph “Spray Paint” that brings to mind Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” (picture the poster, and the final 30 minutes).

Or, seen below, “Snow Days,” which immediately brought me back to a moment in Tarkovsky’s “Mirror,” which I recently rewatched and posted about early in the month:

I realize there’s a risk in it seeming like I’m undervaluing the originality of one work by graphing it over another. But one of the pleasures I get in taking in art of all kinds is not just the pieces themselves — which I’m grateful for individually — but for how they intermingle in my mind.

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg