Vienna, Austria, Donaukanal, August 2020
Category: Urban moments (*)
Is there an aesthetic sense of urban resilience? Could emotions contribute to a better understanding of the concept without compromising its significance? Up to what point should we leave a scene unchanged, asking our sensibility and creativity to fill the void? May aesthetic pave the way to the sense of place, to alterity, to the desire of bouncing forward when disasters strike? Moving beyond conceptual approaches that most of us can hardly grasp is challenging. Systemic objective norms prevail. Feelings are viewed suspiciously as inconsistent with critical analysis. The depth of ancient relations with our environment has been lost. The role of humanities is merely an adjustment variable.
The need to bridge the gap between expert and non-expert citizens leads to unconventional narratives. They enable the appraisal of urban resilience through creative expressions into readily understood forms. Opposing the idea of attractiveness or easiness, those narratives reflect the social status quo of failures and deficiencies. And by doing so, they challenge and reinforce at the same time dominant narratives in highlighting the prevalence of critical thinking.
As a complement to “Photographic works”, “Urban moments” (*) displays a series of two stages diptychs seen as a metaphoric illustration of ephemerality. Without any scenic construction, the “resilient thinking” pictorial expression translates into a straight formulation questioning the opposition of value between what will last and what will disappear in time. Some will consider that ephemerality underlines our powerlessness. But paradoxically, it may raise the recognition of a time inconsistency by revealing our society crisis and changes, stimulating further commitments to reconsider what needs to be reconsidered. In “Urban moments”, the ephemeral transposition of our daily lives echoes the consciousness of transformations arising from the interactions with our ever-changing urban environment. Based on a darkening technique using the features of argentic paper, “Urban moments” diptychs recall that the stability of an urban space, though resilient, should never be taken as granted.
“Only the ephemeral is of lasting value.”
Eugène Ionesco, playwright, 1909-1994
* Urban Moments are inkjet printed on argentic paper grade Ilford MGRC Deluxe Pearl, 21 x 29,7 cm/ 8,25×11,75 in. More on the technique? See “Photographic works”
Hiroshima neighborhood seen from Miyajima island, Japan, October 2018
New York City, USA, Metro, June 2018
Quebec City, Canada, rue Saint-Jean, October 2017
Paris, France, Bd. Sérurier, France, July 2017
Rome, Italy, Ephemeral tribute to Pasolini by E.P. Ernest, August 2016
Toronto, Canada, China Town, April 2015
Marseille, France, Harbor seen from the Pharo garden, November 2013