Form and shape

Hmmm, cheeky, cheeky

Ok, snap back to reality. Let's talk about gravity.

Not that Newtonian apple stuff or Sandra Bullock's spacewalk, but rather heft, weight, seriousness. As in, the gravity of the situation. You know, the bit of the news, where no-one smiles.

Imagine if you will, a moment of great personal importance. You are on trial for murder. The case has been heard. The jury have returned. The Clerk of the Court silently passes the Judge a piece of paper. He reads it, and learns your fate. He asks the Foreman of the Jury, if they have reached a verdict upon which they all agree. The Foreman says "Yes". The Clerk puts the charge to the Foreman and asks for their verdict. The tension is palpable. It's the Davina moment, sui generis. The interminable pause of Schroedinger's verdict. That fleeting occlusion of time when you are, at once, both Guilty and Not Guilty... and just then, in that exact moment, someone in the public gallery's phone goes off... and the unmistakable sound of the Cheeky Girls fills the air.

Gravity in this sense, you see, is largely a false construct. And, it is fragile.

We artificially create gravity to lend significance to events. We want to believe that happenstance plays no part in serious things, like justice. It simply would not do, to have murder convictions decided by the flip of a coin, the chaotic whim of chance. We have to believe that order reigns.

But, does it? Justice, real justice, doesn't depend on theatrical wood panelling, horsehair or ermine; but on a dispassionate and even-handed search for truth and morality; through a murky, disorganised fog of human frailty. So what we should ask is, do the dulcet intrusions of the Cheeky Girls, render our hypothetical verdict any more or less accurate? After all, it has already been prosecuted, deliberated and decided. Guilty, with a barely stifled smirk, only makes it feel wrong.

In real life, of course, the business of the court would continue to unfold, ostensibly unmoved by the instruction to "Touch my bum". (Although, I suspect the subsequent dressing room bantz between the lawyers would be just as appalling and embarrassingly gauche as you might imagine and the owner of such a phone would have a new reason to question their life choices).

Still, I digress. The point is that the juxtapositon of the serious and the ridiculous is often comic and, as such, it's easy to dismiss it as childish or trivial. However, it has long been an effective tool of writers and artists seeking to highlight genuine injustice and demand change. And that is neither childish, nor trivial.

So, if you want to add real gravity to your own photographs, and you can find a way to chip away at the pomposity of authority (preferrably without incurring the wrath of a soppy old Etonian in a Wig and furry robe) then I urge you to do so.

Besides which, it's a larf, innit. Your honour.

Come on in, look around