Present, Absence

Leipzig, Prague, Budapest, Dresden, Bratislava, Brno, March-April, 2023

Present, Absence

Is modern recollection tainted by the photograph?

Is memory more honest than the rendered reality of the image?

Do marked walls reveal tangible, hidden narratives?

Do these questions matter when waiting an indeterminate amount of time on a work visa?

In late December 2022 I accepted a teaching position in Melbourne. I needed a change of place after feeling disenchanted in Sweden, I was to move to Australia a few days after Valentine's day...

However, as a result of visa delays, by the first of March, I had no place to stay and nowhere to go. The following 5 weeks were spent in a haze wandering the streets and museums of Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Brno, Dresden, Leipzig, Prague and Krakow. The following images were taken during this time as news on transcripts, police checks and documents shifted daily.

I read Kafka's Diary and kept a journal of my own. I tried to make sense of the situation I'd created and I contemplated Kafka's insights on bureaucracy...

It's said that found objects, when gathered, can be used to perform a summoning, the following images have been put together in the hopes of summoning change.

'I am not there among the cities. I have sought down a million streets... I have found no city where I was, no door where I had entered, no place where I stood' Look Homeward, Angel (Wolfe, 559)

'A sequence of photographs functions as a little drama of dreams with a memory'

Minor White

But nothing can represent;

everything rather effaces it


Franz Kafka