Absent, Presence

Melbourne, April-September, 2023

The houses are far away, the ground is under our feet... it's the memory and oblivion of everything...

Astragal (178)

Albertine Sarrazin

Now a narrative is a story, not a logic, nor ethics, nor philosophy. It is a dream you keep having, whether you realize it or not. Just as surely as you breathe, you go on ceaselessly dreaming your story. And in these stories you wear two faces. You are simultaneously subject and object. You are the whole and you are the part. You are real and you are shadow. 'Storyteller' and at the same time 'character'. It is through such multilayering of roles in our stories that we heal the loneliness of being an isolated individual in the world. (201, Murakami, Underground)

This photo project started when I met an Australian woman in Riga, in October of 2022. She visited me in Uppsala, and, soon after I met her in London. By that December, I'd given my notice at work and planned my move to Australia.

The following images are the second part of a two part project which explores this process. Whereas the first part consisted of images taken within a 5 week period, the following images were taken within the first six months of arriving in Melbourne.

This project attempts to make sense of everything that's happen these last few months. To a greater extent, it is also an invitation to contemplate the ways in which so many of us try to make sense of the many symbols, signs and encounters we come across in our daily lives.

Put differently, Present, Absence and Absent, Presence work in dialogue with one another to conjure meaning from the many banal, fractured or mundane moments (images) intuitively absorbed in the story of our lives.

After all, this story of daily life is the only one any of us can ever really even attempt to tell in any substantial way.

To reveal (it occurred to me) means both to re-veil, or put another veil, and de-veil, or take it off... (351)

How I Became One Of The Invisible

David Rattray