Things we leave behind

Page 1

Things We Leave Behind

April 11, 2017 j.frede

Ad Infinitum Michelle Young Lee



Land Lies In Water It Is Shadowed Green 53 Joseph Imhauser

April 11, 2017 j.frede It is said that a photo is worth a thousand words and while this may be true we will have to settle for just a few. For the Fiction Landscape series I buy hundreds of lost photographs based on specific visual needs. Sorting through thousands of photographs I never see the backs of them until much later when they have been sorted into the large box I keep all my lost memories in. This publication is a collection of all the photos in that box that have hand writing on their backs. From place names to elaborate descriptions to feelings to simply dates, these inscriptions can be seen as part document, part diary and part poetry. The intimacy of handwriting takes us a step closer to the person who originally held each photograph with care and concern enough to log its place of origin.

How do you look at a photograph of the materiality of photography?

How do you find the punctum of an image if the image itself has its back

turned to you? Your eyes scan the yellowing edges and the flatness

of the paper only to realize the information you deduce, transports

you right back to the time and place of the photograph’s origins.

You realize what you’re looking at are the hands of all those who have

handled that photograph before you. The American G.I. photographing

on his tour of duty; the photo lab technician who shuffled the photo

graph into a lab envelope; the photographer’s granddaughter who

found the shoebox full of images iin the attic (Pops served in Korea?)

the estate seller who prices the photos in bulk, to the hands of the artist

as he recirculates them back into the image economy. The handwriting

on the backs of these found photographs attest to a collective longing

conjured by a whirlwind of snapshots broadcast into material culture.

These markings create a record that plays on loop:

“I was there. I saw this. I was witness. I existed.”

Ad infinitum.

The land is our mother, our stability, our cushion, our death and ourselves. The land becomes our crutch – our stable bread – we gorge on the solid fruits of the land and with grace and steadfastness the land keeps giving even though on occasion it receives nothing but harm. The land sings along, alone, nudging the sky into a third dimension, one elusive and flat. Sometimes land is the only thing left that feels real. Soil, against your skin, is soft and teeming with life. Within it there is a reality so real even human doubt and suffering can not cause it to panic or to act out. The land reassures us with a fury and dedication unparalleled, that it is there, that the land is real.

Land lies in water it is shadowed green1

In the case of j.frede’s series titled ‘fiction landscapes’, slivers of memories via snapshots are choreographed into new narratives, one that gives these old snapshots a second chance even if its original story has faded from memory itself. Pictures like these go many places to die. You might find them in trash cans, recycling plants, arranged as decorative elements that add character in hideous plastic frames, backdrops for aquariums, bookmarks, maybe even some of them become refrigerator magnets. These particular photos were saved from their second-life-purgatory to dance together and create a time-crystal vision for a multipolar future, one constructed of many peoples’ many pasts’ to share through solidarity of experience our collective desires in the present. Together these snapshots visualize a collapse of space-time and give a glimpse into one of the most real parts of ourselves – that our memories are not our own.


Elizabeth Bishop, The Map

Published on the occasion of:

Still, Life j.frede at Lyeberry HQ May 6 - August 13, 2017

Copyright 2017 j.frede texts by Michelle Young Lee Joseph Imhauser Lyeberry HQ 250 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222 Published by Lyeberry Press Printed and bound in the United States 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 ISBN 978-0-9990309-0-5



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