He often roamed the eastern part of the city scouting for images, or just wandering, soaking up the culture of the place. He was sometimes greeted and other times looked upon with suspicion. He chose to observe discreetly, casually, making himself as imperceptible as he could. He would have wished to belong but he stayed at the edge.
When he entered the street he jumped out of excitement. This is it! This is all I have been looking for in coming to these modest and fissured neighbourhoods. He felt he was witnessing folding tenses: the past still present, the future already past, the potential of the place already vanished, and yet still determining the past of the city.
The photograph depicts a set of modest housing units fenced off for an imminent demolition. I know for sure that the units are entirely emptied, uninhabited. I mentally grasp the virtual presence of its once inhabitants, the spirit of their existence, at once, in general.
I feel I am already leaning forward, up against the fence, longing for a city that is about to be lost, attempting to retain the vanishing image of which I am already a part.
While looking at this image my mind is taken up with the effect of duration, which supplants that of space. Space, or the enclosed space inside the fence, is literally blocked off, unable to reveal its secret, its past. Along with its content, actual and virtual, it is about to be wiped out. But before this inevitability, the mind endures, bringing time into ‘substance’ that unfolds in front of me.
When I look at the image my mind suffers; duration brings to the surface the past, the past in general.