I’ve written here
names of all birds
that I’ve dreamed of
names of ones whom I loved
names of all well poems I’ve read
and hands I’ve pressed
I’ve written here for you
names of all flowers in a blue flower pot
I’ve written here
only for you
secrets of adrift tribes
Reza Barahani | What I’ve written
When you walk through Windsor you feel an emptiness deeply in your soul. Partly covered doors and windows with wood panels, messy and uncut lawns, and unpruned trees are shouting vacancy of the places once inhabited and nowadays left behind with the memory of the previous people. If you believe that each life has its own story as a truth, there are a lot of untold stories that have already disappeared or are ready to be demolished. Whether an area is abandoned or not, everything is fragile and transient. I feel people are coming to life to live temporarily, leave a trace of themselves behind, maybe a memory, sign or work and then drop off everything to be demolished. Indeed, human life is this much ephemeral, temporal, and mortal.
Life consists of memories rooted in the past and goals and ambitions for the future. The absence of each, memories or goals, can cause a sense of melancholy, depression. Every single abandoned place speaks to a vacuum in an individual’s life who is struggling among his or her past memories: As George Steinmetz suggests “Ruinscapes are mobilized to nourish two differing psychopolitical postures in two cases: melancholia and nostalgia”. Urban structures are ephemeral in nature. It does not matter if the city is small like Windsor or immense like Detroit, the city is destined to change, and collective memory is destined to decay and fade. Tolkien says “Human stories are practically always about one thing, really, aren’t they? Death. The inevitability of death”.
The Wind Will Carry Us is an exhibition including 4 pieces: Recomposed Verses, Walking Through Memories, Déjà vu, and Eternal Nostalgia. It focuses on abandoned places, collective memories and nostalgia. I am interested in abandoned buildings, urban structures, ruins, demolished places, and urban prairies – those extensive empty urban places that have been left after the demolition of buildings. Particularly, I explore how these sites all carry and become the locus of nostalgia and collective memories.
Steinmetz, George. “Harrowed landscapes: white ruingazers in Namibia and Detroit and the c of memory.” Visual Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3, Dec. 2008. p. 211.
Tolkien, John. “Modern Writers” Tolkien in Oxford, BBC 2, 1968. At 00:21:49