AM I (STILL) HAPPENING?

MAR 2021 > ONGOING
I began collecting photographs of strangers when I was twenty-one living in Barcelona. My collection is very modest, nonetheless, mostly because I am deeply selective of the people whom I chose to include in—what I’ve come to call—my family album of strangers. The solemn standing criteria is that the subject strikes me with emotion; tenderness, wonder or recognition. I don’t collect for the sake of collecting, for the sake of an image’s potential economical ‘worth’. I value these photographs because they have moved me deeply; not only because of what they visually might tell me, but what they—with a romanticism that only ignorance can feed—tell me about love, memory and the values of the short-lived human existence.

The aura, the mystery surrounding a personal photograph; a person you’ll never know nor meet; never stops to intrigue me. You’re left with your imagination. What’s special about these photographs are the fact that the majority of them are amateurish journal photographs, much like my own. The natural role of the photographer as the observer; as the hunter of worthy imagery; is outweighed here by something very raw; more an interaction, a genuine interplay; which—for me—translates as an attempt and eagerness to capture love in life’s endlessly fleeting moments. These photographs exists not for generating any esthetical value to the world, but with the intent to be remembered and cherished in an intimate small group of people, which are most likely gone, since I now possess their photographs. We, as strangers, can never wallow in the community surrounding one of these photographs. (These sparse branches... pulling us into mute worlds that seem to look back at us, asking: am I still happening?). Allowed merely to be passive spectators of these events, we knead our fantasizes... But what could we actually reach—with our limited means—by trying to interact with the pieces left of a long, lost stranger?
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