The look of silence

Loneliness Belongs to the Photographer
By Hanya Yanagihara, July 10, 2016, New Yorker

In her beautiful meander of a book “The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone,” Olivia Laing examines the idea of loneliness, in particular the loneliness of the city dweller, through the works and lives of a number of different artists. She proposes that loneliness is less a state than it is a fixed part of our identity, a tribe one might belong to as much as we might the tribes of queerness or blackness or femaleness. Implicit in her book are two intriguing notions: first, that loneliness, true loneliness, is an especially American trait (or privilege, or curse, depending on who you are); and second, that it is a realm most deeply inhabited, and fluently expressed, by visual artists. Laing includes performers in her study—poignantly, Klaus Nomi, the countertenor and lonesome bird of the late-nineteen-seventies East Village art scene—but spends the majority of her time discussing the acknowledged masters of modern despondency: Edward Hopper, of course, with his crayon-ish greens and reds and neon chiaroscuro; Andy Warhol, isolated and protected by his layers of sartorial artifice; and David Wojnarowicz, the leader of his own crew of lost boys.

But as correct as I think Laing is (on both points), I would venture to be even more specific and say that if love belongs to the poet, and fear to the novelist, then loneliness belongs to the photographer. To be a photographer is to willingly enter the world of the lonely, because it is an artistic exercise in invisibility. In the course of its relatively brief history, photography (and, by extension, those who take photographs) has been accused repeatedly of constituting an act of predation, as if the street is a savannah and the person with a camera a large cat, silent and hungry, ready to sprint after its next meal. In reality, though, the person with the camera is not hiding but receding. She is willfully removing herself from the slipstream of life; she is making herself into a constant witness, someone who lives to see the lives of others, not to be seen herself. Writing is often assumed to be the loneliest profession, but solitude should not be confused for loneliness: one is a condition we choose, the other is a condition that is forced upon us. A writer creates a world, and she is the ruler of it; the photographer moves through the world, our world, hoping for anonymity, hoping she is able to humble herself enough to see and record what the rest of us—in our noisy perambulations, in our requests to be heard—are too present to our own selves to ever see. To practice this art requires first a commitment to self-erasure.

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Pip (pula in pictures)

Living in a town that can transform from a totally crowded place in a season to an almost ghost town during winter must be interesting.

I see this changing process as a challenge and I'm still trying to document parts or certain aspects of the process as well as the energy of the people who actually make this transformation.

That's why I decided to use long exposure. The focus is always on the prominent buildings in my hometown regardless of what is taking place in the foreground.

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Human absence

"We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory"

Henri Cartier-Bresson


I am fascinated with empty spaces.

It's a constant pleasure that never fades.

Finding beauty in completely dismal places is proof of my awareness of space and light.

"Human Absence" is the first series of photographs where I have been trying to capture whatever I found interesting, whether it was repeating in the same shapes, specific subject or architecture in itself.

The whole project was produced keeping in mind the following words:

1. Abandonment

2. Absence

3. Human (humans) or humanity/humaneness

This has resulted in two exhibitions and a constant search for new challenges in urban exploring (urbex).


abandoned factory

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military complex

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abandoned family houses

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