A Thousand Selfies


Fuji X-T3


late 2018.


ELECTRONIC 1/32000 s

Levering the film in advance.
Placing the next exposure into the frame.
Pressing the shutter.
The sound of a scanner is buzzing.
Electric sound of a light ray moving from one side of the frame to another, generating an image.
Multiple of them. Platitude.
In a glimpse of an eye.

    The scrolling mechanism, of a joystick, on the camera, allows it to go through the images generated by an electronic impulse on a digital sensor.

— It started in 2015. in Belgrade, Serbia. I was producing photographs for a reason I did not understand at the time. I had a side job while I was studying. During the summertime, every day after my shift ends, I would go to that place that lured me with its eclecticism. That stink and liquid stickiness of a hot summer day. I was with a camera on my eye all the time, prepared to shoot, faster than my shadow.
— Years later, somehow, I continued to do it in Bratislava, where I found a space in which I experienced similar vibrations to those in Belgrade. Same dirty whole, interconnection, junction of rat’s roads. The place under the bridge is the one that connects two parts of the city. It resembles a portal or a gate through which you have to pass to reach your destination. Here is silence. Everyone stood silently, waiting for the transportation that would carry them across the river. Everyone was observing each other kneading their bags and purses in distrust.
— Further, I went to Vienna, where I found a genuine non-place, a spot where everything happens. On multiple levels. Both underground and on the ground. All the time. Vibratingly seeping through the misty curtain of water drops that refract on sunlight rays. I could not pick up the camera and could not place it to my eye. I could not frame. I was under the scanner lid. Myriads of eyes were scanning me. Drug dealers, drug users, homosexuals and homophobes, red-rotten alcoholics. They saw an intruder. Saw someone who did not belong there. A conquistador, a colonizer.
I felt uncomfortable doing what I thought I was doing the best, or, at least, I thought I was good at something I previously enjoyed doing. I could only look, observe and memorize those looks sent to me as acts of resentment.

An attempt to define contingency
Then, I saw a van shining in harsh July sunlight. Patrols around the space making an invisible, moving portal-hole. Shining and bling-blinging, making me blind from all that refraction. It was a scanner. A human-operated scanner with a periscope. A voyeur. A moving observer, a control freak. Now I knew why everyone I saw there felt uncomfortable with everyone else. Why everyone is looking at everyone else as predators observing a rival animal. They were scanned all the time. We were exposed to the infinite rays that were composing the chimerical picture of that soaked-concrete panorama.
I was exhausted, overwhelmed by all of those billboards, posters, advertisements, different portraits-faces that were jumping as trixters in front of my eyes. Decided to take a break, make a review of the database I was making for years. To take a look, behind, to analyse and ask questions instead of mere reactions to stimulus from the outside world.