I looked at those strangers’ photographs, pieces of their lives, and I marveled at how beautiful and otherworldly they seemed – I wondered if these lives had truly existed or were they simply projections in my own consciousness, of something I thought was or should be real. And then I remembered. It was very quiet at first, but as I went on – on through the stream of pictures and memories, on through the world wide web of li(v)es, I realized this was my own life once, as well. I’ve been the girl in the sea someone somewhere had taken a picture of. I’ve lived these memories, in my own way, with many others who observed the final masterpiece of my year with an artist and hailed what they perceived as beauty, or love.
The majesty of strangers’ lives. Their distance. Their silence. Perhaps that’s what makes them as magical. That they are not our own.
Once in every few months, I like to tell myself – when I wake up tomorrow, I will be new again. I will buy a role of black and white film and their lives will become mine. It is as close to irrational thinking I can get. As close to the God I don’t believe in, when I believe in art and rebirth over the course of one sole night, ten hours or maybe even less – depending on how many trivial things need to be done, how many tasks ticked off the lists I religiously compile. But there are still those nights, when I lie down and think – tomorrow, I will be another. I will produce a moment.
There are no artificial memories. These are not the things you can make up from scratch or decide to create as you move along. There have been more than a hundred afternoons when I roamed the city in search of a worthy image, and then there were those when I’d given up on the idea of art and simply took in my surroundings. The moments didn’t need to be grand, then. It could’ve been an ear, a hand of „a someone“ sleeping in my bed, and I would feel an overwhelming need to remember them. The person, and all their parts. As I got older, the need intensified. Still, sometimes I wanted the dreams. I needed those strangers’ lives to remind me I am living my own.