The Return of All Things
The area first intrigued him after scrutinising the map. Separated by freeways, hills and the river, it felt sparse and under-constructed. It is certainly the special character of this city where the built environment rapidly dissolves into bits of partial nature. In those places the rigidity of the urban grid starts losing its grip. At the threshold of dissolution, the city loses tempo.
This image does not represent. It participates. It exposes not the journey of one’s life, but an instant: an instant into one’s past, and at the same time a walk into the possibilities of what is yet to come.
And so I knew that the present is never fully itself but is always ‘already past and yet to come’.258 It contains the past as well as the potential of the future.
The photograph presents a road. The road leads to one’s car, to one’s house, to one’s life. The road cuts through nature, through the excess of the city. But the movement is not just a movement of going through, it is a return, a return to the car, to one’s life after an interrupting event. But whereas the return to the car is definite, the return of all things –– what happens along the way –– creates a space which is endless, without boundaries. The return of all things occurs through the shade, the imagined smell, the suggested presence of plants and flowers, and through the presupposed slow pace of the walk. The return of all things is an invading, uncontrollable movement.
The photograph is imbued with the feeling of love, with the return of all desires, of all selves, of all past moments, of all possibilities, but also to all failures and to all pains. In fact, this image is strangely painful. It is as if the car will never be reached, as if the self will never find its determination.
In this city, he had no real future. He was only passing by, desiring space. He didn’t walk this way, but turned back and continued his walk to the top of the hill. He had enjoyed the afternoon.