I do not know what we will remember, what we will choose to say to our daughter. I do not know which part of this story we will choose to tell her or to forget. At the beginning of our life together there was an apartment in London that we shared with my sister. Then we moved to Berlin.
What are we doing here?
A few months later we are told of the progress of a global pandemic. The world is shrinking, borders are closing. That day, Elena stood in front of the window watching the rain falling. We can only hear the drops of water hitting the plastic garbage cans in the yard, our neighbors do not make a sound.
We live on the ground floor in a poorly furnished former artist studio, the large barred windows seem to block the light instead of letting it in.
We stay in the living room which is also the kitchen and our bed. He tries to work in our daughter’s room and we try to stay still. In the apartment the air is familiar and the smell is ours, the outside world seems more foreign than ever.
The question comes back: What are we doing here?
Our bodies collide, objects break. We take a lot of space inside. We go around in circles, we play, we dress up, we eat, we sleep a lot.
During breakfast we discuss our plans for later, we organize ourselves to go back to France maybe. I think about all our previous moves, mine and his. I mentally enumerate the apartments in which I have once lived, inside which I have left an almost invisible mark on the walls, the carpet. I count the items I left behind. I try to reconstruct the smells and sounds associated with these places that I have abandoned.
We drove away in the broad daylight at the end of July. We left: A plastic basin A children's kitchenette A bed base Some dry flowers A wooden case Two small white metallic bathroom cabinets
We gave up a lot of personal belongings behind, more than we usually do. A desire to let go of all the items soaked with the sad memories of our life here.
These images were taken in Berlin during the first Covid - 19 lockdown very soon after we freshly arrived in the city. As a photographer and visual artist I am interested in the notion of document and archives; I capture to remember. Nevertheless, the photographic medium presents an ambiguous status, behind the realism effect provided by the mechanisms of a photograph, the surface of the image is masking a narrative, the photographic image gets away from its status of the document and becomes closer to the concept of an invention. I choose, cut, and edit. The image is facing a problem of realism and its fragments create together another image, invisible and shifty: A latent image whose narrative stretches along the edges of the image itself. Along with the project Home Stories, I chose to edit still photographs with sound effects, this is where the latent image’ lays. Nothing is real, however, nothing is staged either. The honesty transpires in the ‘feeling’ I captured and wish to project on this particularly difficult time of our life. In the end, the film medium only records a subjective truth - the photographic memory.