I was Here

The weather is persistently bad lately so I decided to use this time to look through the series I’m doing at the moment. I must have at least some 80 photos by now, and I made a selection of about 20 that I consider best. I call the project “I was Here”.

Many of these people on the walls of Berlin were once, I imagine, new shinny faces for various ads. But with passing of time and exposed to harsh outside conditions they started to become less and less part of their initial reason for being, and more and more part of the wall or the pole to which they were glued. As if the decay took away all of their original artificiality, as if all the posing in front of the photographer’s lens slowly diminished from their faces which became part of a larger, different context.

I was never good with names and my memory tends to be very selective. There are a number of those who I knew but whose names I’ve forgotten. And when I try to picture them in my mind, even their faces often remain incomplete and deformed. For some I can’t even remember the circumstances in which I got to know them for a while. All that remains printed in my mind is a certain detail, an impression – a characteristic look, a specific gesture or an expression, and sometimes just a feeling. Everything around that is chaos, a decomposed mess of fragments too small to make any sense out of it.

Capturing these decaying faces just before they would forever disappear feels very close to photographing memory of those that are long gone from one’s life. The faces are different, but everything else seems the same.