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Phantom Limbs


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Installation: 11 photographs mounted on glass and a video of the river flow.
Visitors to the installation are encouraged to stop the flow for a second
and see if they get a ready-made revelation.

 

 

Memories of the Charles River 2011-2013

I take walks on the Charles river as a part of a daily ritual. I photograph whatever catches my eye, or just I walk camera-free, making mental notes on pictures not taken. On breezy March day I see only shadows on the river surface, separating and touching each other, escaping my viewfinder.

I persist and follow a few dry tree branches in the skywater.  My memory card is filled with crooked abstractions in black, white and blue, phantom limbs without roots.* At home, while saving the images to my  computer, I see something I haven’t noticed before. A face made of litter and light, is staring back at me.

I am drawn to eyes on the photograph. I ran back to the same spot on the river to capture the face again, this time with the right exposure.  No luck. Occasionally there is an intimation of a figure, watered down features, near-misses of a chance encounter. Face recognition device on the camera doesn’t help me either. This must have been something purely accidental, a human error of sorts.

One thing I know for sure is that they are not ghosts. On the contrary, the photographic unconsciousness of my camera recorded a material flow of reflections which inspired religion, science and art.

After a thousand photographic takes, captured over a period of two months, I manage to find ten faces. Who are they? Pentimenti for an unknown creation? Drowned characters in search of  an author or some winking imaginary friends? Did I conjure them into existence or did they find me?  Can you see them now?

 

* Six years ago I broke my limbs right around the place on the Charles river where the faces first appeared to me. Limb refers to a human bone and a tree branch thus connecting us to the world. My leg healed but sometimes I still feel a mysterious itch in my phantom limb.

 

 

 

Bereshit (Arameic: in the beginning..)

In the begining was a tease
Rhymed clouds
Rippled visions
Teared limbs 
A creature and a creator
Share
a tear
of skywater
a cloudy likeness
That blurrs the picture
But bonds them in the afterimage
(The poem ends here.)
But I want to begin again
In a middle of my road take a detour,
blow the soapbubble of time
Touch a clowning shadow on the river
Nature’s emoticon
Your face

 




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