The Gleaners and I – by Agnes Varda…

An amazing film shown by Bristol Indymedia at the Cube.  It threw up so many thought provoking images…. hands – and how they are us; reflections of ourself that we can look at; the tools we use to interact with the world and use things, objects; touch people and things; gesture and speak without words.  The ways in which people all over interact with waste products – objects left over from the lives and functions of another person or people, objects that take on new meanings when re-appropriated and re-purposed.

To glean: to gather things carefully; to sift out useful remnants of stuff or information.

I like this idea of careful finding – of interpretation through sorting, picking up ends and strands and forming new life or opinions through them.  Its how I used to work at university – gleaning the books I needed by slowly reading the titles of all the spines of the books in all the sections i liked the sound of.  Its how I interact with nature – slowly sifting my way through beaches for shells left by creatures, softened glass and ceramics left by people  and mediated by the sea; hunting through woods and fields for berries and leaves and flowers to eat or dry or just look at.  Its how i prefer to attain things – the rummaging in car boot sales, thrift shops, skips, stuff on the street and finding the things that perfectly dovetail into what you want your life to look like without having to look to corporations to tell you what you needed.  Its how find what I am doing, by stumbling across things, letting connections happen and finding slowly the things that i need or want to do and make time for.  I love to glean – words, poetry, knowledge, artefacts, recipes, images, foods, people, clothes, music: everything gains a certain richness through being a found object – something that others didn’t notice or discarded because they didn’t realise the value or potential.  Perhaps that’s part of the fun, the secret knowledge of having got something that others missed.  Of having found satisfaction in something that had been left by the wayside.  Treasure hunting!  Its second nature to me and beautiful to see a whole film full of people who get by in life through treasure hunting – whether via necessity, ethics or a simple desire for the unusual.  This lady, Agnes Varda has a really true and unique perspective on the world, a magpie collector of ideas, situations and tiny life stories that are happening all around her, and all of us in fact.

snuck out one night. stole the spots off the backs of the fawns.

they are needed to ease troubled minds. – Mariee Sioux on gleaning

key to photos: gleaned fruit; gleaned patterns; house full of gleanings.

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