Landscapes Behind

Angela Svoronou

(Dedicated to the memory of Mrs D.P. )
Landscapes, concealed behind other landscapes. Landscapes contained by a frame on the wall or by the sides of a piece of furniture. These landscapes, formed by time and decay, remain unseen until one day a house move, a death, a change in the unbroken routine of everyday life reveals them. Let us not forget that, as Roland Barthes pointed out, photography is closely related to death.
Landscapes or, more precisely, marks of a past that ended abruptly, in shame or in glory. Unexpectedly and –usually- unwillingly we find ourselves mourning, laying a beloved ones’ body to rest, moving away, changing life.
Ephemeral yet permanent, they are the ultimate traces of a human life, bound to forever vanish under the house painter’s ruthless brush. The trace and the object that created it are interdependent; the existence of the former entails the presence of the latter-just as the photograph cannot exist without the negative. Yet they annul each other since one must always remain hidden under the other.
Photography often deals with the past; photographs usually represent things that have already happened, people that have already lived and died, fields where battles have been fought, homes that have been lived in, cities that have grown and cities that have shrunk to extinction. The “simple mystery of simultaneity”, the coexistence of the past and the real (the present) in every photographic image is – again according to Barthes- what nourishes our spirit.
Between the world and conscience there is nothing, but this nothing is impenetrable... (Jean Hyppolite)
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