At the edge of nowhere, where everyone knows everybody elses face and no one wants to see or experience anything they haven’t before.
Then the car started rolling backwards.
I didn’t even know whose car it was but it was an expensive SUV so I just presumed it belonged to some rich bastard (even if, while awake, I’m quite aware that not all rich are bastards, far from it). There must have been a stray thought in there somewhere, like who the fuck leaves his car like this?
But it started rolling backwards and I remember thinking shit, I have to stop it so I ran towards it, managed to get the door open and jump in. Pushing the brakes, pulling the handbrake, kicking the brakes, trying to mess with the transmission, nothing. It just kept rolling backwards, at an increasing speed, and what had been a hill was now the staircase in a house I used to know and then the stairs in between houses I didn’t know. There were all these people around and I knew somehow that they were my relatives and that this was their home and all I could do was hope none of them got in the way.
When I woke up at the hospital it was night. I wasn’t really in pain which I thought was strange but not quite whole either. Couldn’t figure out at which point my memory gap started but somehow I knew someone had got hit.
Before she came to visit, without anyone telling me I had come to understand that someone had died. Someone in my family. Just didn’t know who. She told me. And hit me, repeatedly. Yelled at me. Cried. I had never met her before, just knew that she existed, but she felt oddly close. Her pain felt close, like nested inside me.
Waking up to such grief in the middle of the night puts a certain dent in the morning plan. What was important isn’t. Things that had to be done don’t have to. Plans that were supposed to be made can wait.
It was remarkably alive, as dreams go, visual. If I could draw I could—draw it.
Always… always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt, that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society.
John Peter Berger (5 November 1926 – 2 January 2017) was an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a university text. He resided in France for over 50 years.
Last night I dreamt I was with someone. There was place, presence, appearance, lightness, intimacy even. And truth of great importance. Truth as opposed to, not lies but cowardice.
She reminded me of someone whose path crossed mine at some point, yet not. As dreams go. And there was insecurity and awkwardly phrased expressions to suffocate whatever there was.
As I asked her if she was leaving she smiled—lightly—and said that I would have to figure it out. There was a promise in it, her smile, but I couldn’t understand what she meant by it, only realize that I wouldn’t. Couldn’t. And it was sad. Enormously sad.
Bought some hope, brought it home.
Now I have hope in a cardboard box on my living room floor. Wonder if I should open it.
Sixteen years ago I drove around South Iceland and photographed. Made a few prints in a darkroom somewhere in downtown Reykjavík. Among others, one of this waterfall. Put them in envelopes and applied at art schools.
Still think about who he was and which photos he sent in an envelope the guy I met on the stairs on my way to the interview, he who sat and held his head in his hands and I never saw again while getting accepted myself, increasingly more to my surprise as time goes by and I think back on those photographs. Ohwell, #life.
(Initially written in my native language. Not my best translation.)
Looking at old negatives, since so long ago that I can hardly remember a single frame. Or was it that I don’t remember anything anymore?
- Ignorance. So embarrassing that it hurts. Not only ignorance but incapability, if that’s a word. Smallness. Helplessness.
- Perspective, tons of perspective. How things connect with one another, things and connections I had no idea about the time, stuff only time can teach. How it all began. It. Not sure if seeing it is a good thing.
- What square camera I had back then, with a separate back, running the film vertically past the frame. After much pondering I remembered the Bronica but not what it was called, the one with the focal plane shutter that went kathummmmp when fired. The one I ended up selling because I needed something better. See, ignorant.
It is, no it has some value, looking back at oneself like this. I think. That’s how I see these negs basically, as some sort of a mirror image of a former self, which has to be—to a considerable degree—what makes up the current self. Ohdear. This is beginning to sound like a country pop tune, a pretty bad one.
Anyway here’s a square photograph not taken with any of the square cameras I’ve had because I haven’t yet scanned any of them. No, it’s because the ones that I have scanned are totally uninteresting just now.
This was supposed to be the post where I went Ok, time to snap out of it. That’ll be the next one. If nothing unexpected shows up to spoil the plan.