Memorial Photographs 1982-1989 Collaboration with Andrzej Maciejewski
The reason for taking these pictures was an instinct to preserve. Andrzej, my partner then, and I believed in an absolute power of photography to document the truth of the presence. I thought, a photograph is a philosophical tool of learning how to accept the passing of time, and ultimately how to face death. Somehow colour snapshots taken quickly and absent-mindedly didn’t speak to us in the same language as the old photographs of our grandparents. Those photographs had gravity; they were taken with care and concentration. Even when taking into account the long exposure, which rendered photographed individuals looking very serious, even if the seriousness was imposed by the process of taking pictures itself, the black and white images were an authentic record, the fingerprint of reality. The photograph puts forth the occurrence of the moment, which can never be repeated existentially and that it is why it mirrors our mortality.
Memorial Photography, a series of photographs was to preserve the moments of our lives, as photography is meant to do. But, we wanted to do it with the full observance of the passing of the nodule of time. It was casual but with a full attention. We would stop whatever we were doing, set the camera on the tripod and freeze. We always looked straight into the camera to honour time and space. We have done so over span of seven years as we were learning to be adults, becoming emigrants, preparing for arrival of our child, as the child was growing up, our relationship unfolding, and as we parted friends. The photograph taking was sharpening our awareness of being alive. We thought that if we put our mind to it we will never be afraid of dying.