It’s almost like circling a labyrinth. The buildings, the sidewalks, the people, the asphalt, the cars, the random motorcycles all merge into one big maze and I am but a small particle in this urban entrapment navigating a city whose landscapes my eyes have built over time. The beach is a place where all fantasies meet, coalescing in a fine frenzy that walks your desires on its shores. I take refuge in this space as it allows me to step out of myself and hear only the gushing sounds of the water as my eyes sink in the daunting immensity of the firmament. I caress the thought of a temporary self-instigated amnesia and let my thoughts loose. For at this precise moment, nothing else exists. No past, no future, not even a present, but more of an instant outside of time where I stand and be. Sips of beer accompany the sun that waves the day goodbye. Anonymous faces crowd up the wide sidewalk and as I gaze at them I create the narratives of their lives. The city is an intricate environment that harbors all sorts of desires. It is crude and ruthless, loving and passionate, merciless, restless. It is a recollection of years that have engraved themselves on the building facades through layers of scars brought on by conflicts. A whisper in an infernal melody that plays throughout the day leaving echoes resonating as the night swallows it. Sometimes I wish I can fly away and start dreaming of foreign lands for which I paint pictures in my head. I see planes crossing the sky and see myself on the window seat waving this land goodbye. To go where? Who cares. Just go and get stranded in another urban environment. Begin another cycle of estrangement, explore another chaos, different forms of ruthlessness, and mold a different set of desires leading to other fantasies. But I know the city is a picky lover. She will not embrace all those who yield to her. Rather she will slip into her Black Widow disguise and devour those who do not fit her vision. I recoil and retreat. Now what? To give up or to fight? Screw it. I’m sick of these Manichean situations and these insipid dualities. These endless love-hate scenarios that govern our lives, appear like a firm hand wrapped around our necks waiting to squeeze at any moment. Tonight, I forget. I forget for all the wrong reasons using all the wrong tools. Slowly, I craft these little fantasies and construct a space using only my senses. I think of a land that exists outside of time and devoid of any names. An anonymous territory that becomes one with my skin. Suddenly, I hear the sound of a roaring engine that signals yet another agitated night in the frantic capital.
I will always associate your face to that abandoned apartment we decided to explore. I think this was the first time we ever had a proper conversation. There was something sad about that afternoon and I can’t quite tell what it was. Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe it was the idea of us looking into someone else’s life by invading a space today popu- lated by their absence. Replacing an absence by the invasive presence of outsiders. Raiding a space that was once inhabited by people we’ll never know. Allowing our footsteps to unfold rooms and compartmentalize words of a city in a desolate space. Abducting a location out of its time and making its components hostages. Every footstep follows a gaze that goes a long way. Every shot is an added layer of voyeurism caught, immortalized, packaged and ready to go to end up in the sight of more voyeurs, tarnishing the once anonymous apartment as it transits from anonymity to recognition. I create a fiction out of a reality that bored me with its mundane appearances. I create a main character and give it attributes. I forge a narrative and combine it with words. The product ends up being no other than a manufactured personal experience. I scar it with double exposures, frame it, and mediate it for others to interpret. I’ll let these walls suffer, these dirty floors scream, just because I can.
Spaces, faces, voices, glances, all these fragments form a landscape and speak in a voice that in times of idleness we seek. Faces, spaces as inextricably bond entities. Memory renders these two elements as complementary pieces that aim at humanizing locations. I psychoanalyze my psycho-geography. I’ll make this city a living memorial by having its walls speak of random instants these years have witnessed. It is no other than a tribute to the everyday with appearances of mourning. I gather the memories from the people I’ve shared these streets with. I accost passers by with bits and pieces of intimate recollections. The city now breathes with messages left by those who roam it as it time travels through space. It creates a crescendo that mixes with sounds of traffic noises and the buzzing melody of human interaction. I reclaim those ghosts that time has murdered. I make time my ultimate enemy and wage a war against it. For above all, it holds the ultimate agency on things that we can’t control. It forms a tight alliance with history and together they assault the city by recycling it into this alien wonder we struggle to catch.
A Graphic Designer who enjoys toying with words and images.