Monday, April 13, 2009

Slowing down

I will go lose myself, and wander up and down to view the city
Antipholus of Syracuse
Walter Benjamin loved to play the part of the flaneur, the aimless wanderer who loses himself in the city, stands back from the crowd and whose urgent and single-minded purpose is to have no urgency, lose his way and observe. It is difficult. The pace at which one goes is all-important as it determines the scale of one's observation and thereby what becomes visible. Speed abbreviates.

Through the preparation for filming, I was determined that the camera operator understood the way I needed the camera to record the subject we were filming; I explained how one of the filmmakers I profoundly admire, Yasujiro Ozu, worked: Ozu's camera does not move. This is a figurative reminder that modern life is in perpetual motion, and that the beauty of life is often found in standing still.

The Corabastos is a web, a piece of woven fabric: a text. And the text of the people who work there is in turn inscribed on the place, on the bays and halls they inhabit every night. To search for those inscriptions I drew a map of the market as it exists in tension with their lives. But those inscriptions are overlaid with later changes, partially obscured and altered by the estranged glance of the wanderer who struggles to understand the pattern of time going by amongst the hundreds of sacks being unloaded and piled to be uploaded and taken away...

No comments:

Post a Comment