It occurred to me
"It occurred to me"
I love the sound of this phrase whenever I hear someone uses it or even when I use the phrase myself. It sounds right to my ear, like a good music.
It occurred to me today that I recently started to have a strange relationship with photographs. I produce my own photographs, images and works but I am also secretly collecting photographs. Photos that already exist and used to not belong to me.
I have been obsessed with looking and buying slides (mounted positive films) from 1940's - 60's (to me they must be original and something personal and private). So I came to own and look at the sides that are taken by an unknown individual: they are the slides of a moment that person decided to slice out: at some point in time and history before I was born. What a strange feeling that is.
A friend of mine, a poet and a university professor I know said in one of our conversations, "Kind of makes you realize that when we die, someone will be staring into our photos - very personal ones..."
Again, I looked at the slides I purchased for a very little money. Yeah, it is strange... What I'm looking at is someone's private moment and they probably had no idea that a stranger like me would be staring at them in 2015.
I think about how many photos we take everyday. Do you ever imagine a stranger staring at your photographs 50-70 years later after you die? Or maybe it does not matter, because think about it, our Facebook, Instagram, WeChat are already filled with hundreds of very personal images.
Since childhood, I've been obsessed with many things: history, time, anything that flies, camera, film, typewriter, antiques etc... A woman whom I was once in a relationship with said to me, "You love the camera more than you love me!"
But she was wrong about this. Let's say I know tomorrow is my last day in this world. I might decide to take a photograph. But do I want to just think about photography? I'd rather think about the loved ones. To me at least, there is no one and nothing that is more important than the loved ones. Without them, I know my life feels meaningless and sad.
Some photographs are intimate and private. You don't have to be a great photographer to make a photograph that is important to you. But looking at these old photos makes me feel a sense of love in each photograph. Something I don't see or I rarely see on Facebook and Instagram of people today.
I'm trying to figure out what this feeling is, something beyond just "nostalgia".