Image copyright Rabbit/Hare - David Billet
One of the great things about photography is every now and then you get something that cuts through the rhetoric because it's just fabulous.
That's the way I felt when I first saw this image in Rabbit Hare by David Billet and Ian Kline. It's a book of great images that riff on ambiguity and mixed messages.
I think I like the image because first it's a great picture of a cat and cats look great, but then it's a massive double take because your eye goes from the main bird and oh, no, poor thing, it's going to get caught, to the birds in the bottom left of the picture and the realisation that these must be the dumbest birds ever or something else is going on.
There are other places in the book where the real and the fictional mix and I kind of ran with that, so the review is a litany of inaccuracy and paranoia but that kind of fits. I love the uncertainty of images, I love that sense of the non-absolute interalised into the book. It's a book that is a pleasure to look at.
And here's another great cat picture, this time by Jim Mclagan, which I saws in the World Press Photo catalogue, 1982. I feel quite bad for the cat because she looks quite pissed off, but then I wonder if she's not just acting up for the camera. And I bet she's not half as pissed-off as the cat in the Rabbit/Hare picture when he finds out those are stuffed birds. Or are they?
And nowhere near as pissed off as the cats in the greatest cat picture ever taken (by Philippe Halsmann after 26 takes).