Calle Litost / Street Litost, 2010
Digital Print, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable
Litost is an untranslatable Czech word. Its first syllable, which is long and stressed, sounds like the wail of an abandoned dog (...) What then is litost? Litost is a state of torment created by the sudden sight of ones own misery. -Litost: From The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera-
So much city and so little to do. Today, cities have been reduced to being gigantic. However, in the middle of this growing chaos, photography becomes an excellent tool to sketch reality beyond just "Decisive Moments or Truths", but as an instinctive Contemplative Continuity... I must add that I've always liked the Czech word lítost. It is a word untranslatable into other languages, but it helps to understand the human soul. It's a feeling that leads to another feeling to another feeling such as: sadness, compassion, sorrow, symphaty, guilt and nostalgia.
By the other hand, I like to play the wanderer game in my photographic exercise, not only visiting far and unknown lands beyond my home and my daily life, instead I try to dig into these "invisible cities" (quoting italian writer Italo Calvino) by just walking and getting involved with places, the people, the food, the graphics... the organic and the geometrical... the forgoten living creatures such as plants and animals, the windows, the empty spaces, the crowd, the silence... the experience do not increase with the speed, nor with the distance, but by having stop by unexpected turns and sinuosities... because of this, if time does not live on our backs, it is preferable to detour into the labyrinth. Generally the path is more interesting than the final destination. After all ife is like that.
So... the City looked as a puzzle. From Mexico City to Mumbai, New York City to Caracas, Dhaka, Prague or Oaxaca, I realize the themes of rural-urban migration in big cities are both common enough to assume the universality of human struggle of and distinct enough to derive stories of triumph... maybe. Acording to mexican writer Octavio Paz: The City as both a dystopic dungheap and a mother that gives birth to us and devours us. The City that dreams us all, that all of us build and unbuild and rebuild as we dream it (...) The City that wakes every hundred years and looks at itself in the mirror of this very concept and doesnt recognize itself and goes back to sleep again.