Memory Lab II – photography challenges history : Le Passé du Présent
Contemporary photography considers past events – be it the wars of the last century or the more recent conflicts and social tensions – not with the eyes of a journalist or historian. It has, of the Second World War or the pre-war period, a vision that combines fascination and distancing. On recent history, including the Balkans, it adapts the look of an impromptu traveler who is ready to meet the traces of what is left of historical events.
History provides the scene, the setting; but there is already another play going on, which evokes much more often times present than the past; for many of our contemporaries historic memory is lost already in some distant past. Here, behind the elegant and sublime images looms anxiety. Thus contemporary photography, while referring to the past, sometimes not even touching it at first looks, sometimes even in a playful mood, records very subjective feelings which blend historical references, personal destiny and prophecies. The portrait, frequently, is here the unconditional mirror.