Posted on April 9, 2012
A photograph: a note, a thought, a flicker, a shadow, a shade, a glimpse, a glance, a moment, a blur, a trace, a shot, a capture, a fragment, an instant, an etching, a sketch, an inscription, a quotation, a resurrection, a memory…
… What is it that lies in the space in-between?
A daydream? A keepsake?
A secret time-space, revealed to the eye, captured and stored inside.
The concept in phenomenological thought of bracketing as a reductive process, allowing us to examine things up close was introduced by Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology. Seeing things in parenthesis is of course what we do when we take a photograph: our eye selects a scene, something interesting; we take the picture; the picture becomes an object in itself; we put it in an album, on the wall, on flickr, or facebook to share with friends and family. It has been divorced from its original context. It has been re-claimed and re-contextualised.
I love this picture, which I took in Berlin, of a girl reading on a step framed by a jungle of vivid green, punctuated by billowy white roses. I feel like I am peering into someone’s secret space every time I look at it. I think it makes you wonder, too who she is, why she is there and what she is reading. Does she sit there often? Is it her space? Or is she a tourist like me, who just came across a nice place to sit, like I came across a nice shot? What is her story? What was she doing just before, and just after this picture was taken? Is she happy or sad?
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t really matter, because it was just a fleeting moment, in-between a zillion other moments, and I have used the capture I came across and borrowed for my own purposes, so it’s part of my story now.
© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012