June 26, 2008

Winter Memories in Blinded Summer

More than most photographs, the specter-laden images of Alexey Titarenko are made by what slips past, barely apprehended, maybe wholly unseen. Looking at some of his pictures of Russia, Cuba, Venice, one senses that the dust or snow is suspended like a patina, some gorgeous gauze of memory; a protective coating that announces proudly that things do not change. But in most there is the movement, the long look that plays with the play of the eye and mind. Those frames are filled with whispers of light, as if some of the strands detected are what await memory's work of return, the mind's ability to conjure ghosts for the sake of dialog and the others are perceptions of what will never yield to the demands to perceive. We live, breathe, and think, and are always losing so much of what passes.

It makes sense, then, these winter scenes seen out of season:

"Just as little as the eye can see at its blind spot, where the nerve enters the retina, is what has just been experienced perceived by any sense. This blind spot in the soul, this darkness of the lived moment, must nevertheless be thoroughly distinguished from the darkness of forgotten or past events. When past material is increasingly covered by night, this night can be lifted, memory helps out, sources and finds can be excavated, in fact historically past material, even if only patchily, is especially objectifiable precisely for contemplative consciousness. The darkness of the lived moment, on the other hand, stays in its sleeping-chamber. . . . Together with its content, the lived moment itself remains essentially invisible, and in fact all the more securely, the more energetically attention is directed toward it: at this root, in the lived In-itself, in punctual immediacy, all world is still dark."
--Ernst Bloch, Principle of Hope