For the last four years I was more a photographer than anything else. I was, of course, a student, athlete, writer, friend, roommate, movie fanatic, filmmaker, Soviet scholar, and table hockey player, but all for fleeting moments only. The four years are very much over now, the sheepskin is irretrievably nailed to the rec room wall, and soon I will go thousands of miles just to be away from the banks of the Charles.
When I got here, someone told me that the Harvard experience was whatever happened to you in four years, and he was right. So I wasn't trying, in looking back over all the photographs I took in that time span, to find out what my Harvard experience had been about, because I think I know the answer to that.
What I found is a curious assortment of images that reflect nothing in particular except what happened around me as I passed the time here, a series of motions made by my eyes as they surveyed the landscape. I found friends, stars, sports events, politics, demonstrations, disappointment and violence and love. I started by trying to be too close, using a telephoto lens and trying to fill the frame with details. As the years passed I stepped back more and more and went to wider lenses, and the images reflected an intellectual set.
The picture of my old high school girlfriend on John Harvard's overused lap was from the fall of 1969. The picture of my closest friend astride the railing of 'The Ranch' in Newton was taken a few weeks ago. In between these moments the student movement came and went; Harvard won and lost two games to Yale; Nixon beat McGovern; dope and acid waxed and waned and waxed again. The moments that have been lost vastly outnumber those saved, and what I couldn't find as I looked is significant as well.
There are no pretentious general conclusions to be drawn. There is no tenable reason to try to grasp what every instant meant in terms of the one that preceded or followed. These are just images, moments that are frozen to be recalled, to bring back the sensual thrill of the there and then. They are fragments of a timespan to which goodbye is, finally, being said.