“Rivers and Roads”. Being on the road is the topic of this year’s TIFF festival. But what does it mean to be on the road? Where is it exactly? Neither here, nor there. Somewhere in between, nowhere and everywhere. Being on the move makes us more sensitive to the surroundings we find ourselves in, and to the present moment, which in fact belongs to the past as we move on. A moment, which is a sign of our presence some time in the past, or of our absence — of something that already exists, something about to arrive, or something that hasn’t arrived yet. Perhaps it will not arrive… it didn’t exist and will not exist.
On the road….
…where to, or where from?
„Immigration / Emigration”
„On the Road”
And traces, remnants: dried flowers, suitcases, a stone, archives, and photographs… recorded on a roll of film, forever, faces of people, tender gestures, accidental situations, surroundings and a house. But is it really forever? We are on the road:
From ….. to
Nothing lasts forever…. Photos may be thrown away, flooded, destroyed…. Floods, separations, travels.
The photos will fade, the pigment will wear off, the details will become blurred or washed away by time, nature, tears, tsunami, light.
Maybe someone will find them, watch them and describe them.
„Lost and Found”
Perhaps it should be written in an inverse manner?
„Found and Lost”
The fact of finding them does not signify a happy ending. It is a final moment of being lost and of losing the original stories preserved in the images. They did not find each other. They disappeared, even more, they immersed themselves or were lost somewhere in oblivion. They were blurred not only in photographic paper but in metasphere.
They are seen from other people’s perspective, read through strangers’ experience. Their face, chest, eyes, house, and dog will not exist anymore, they will become shadows — shells, into which new/strange observers place their own stories.
New realities are being created, replacing the ones that are lost.
Mobility of people and ideas — shared for just a moment (sometimes…), separate for the rest of the time; the ease, instantaneity and the temporary nature of contacts are characteristic of the present times. Their specific nature also lies in mobility of images, identity; the fluidity blurring the boundaries between the real and imaginary world; between the presented and the one presenting; between me and you; between the viewer and the author.
The art of travelling between images and realities: those recorded, unreal because they belong to the past distorted by imperfect memory and related emotions; imagined realities and the real ones (the most transitory, as they are related with fleeting moments) — this is the most important issue of contemporary times.
The leitmotif of photography — the relation between photosensitive film and the one unique moment of releasing the shutter.
Written by Dobromiła Błaszczyk
Translated by Monika Mokrosz
Edited by Maggie Kuzan