Anyone can take pictures these days, you don’t even need to subject yourself to the hassle of carrying a camera around: your phone is smarter than you and always readily available to fire away.
The problem is that, in the meantime, we have kind of forgotten how to actually look at things. And see them. Not just store them away for later, when we’re going to click through them in a frenzy, post them to God knows which social platform and occasionally bore a bunch of friends with a slightly tedious slide show of fifty shades of the Eiffel tower.( It’s actually mostly grey, yes.)
Ideally a photograph should mean a new way of seeing things, or a way to discover that which we have not seen before. Shooting old buildings in nice angles might seem like a rather shallow preoccupation of the Instagram generation- but it’s led me to become more aware of my surroundings, their history, and to ultimately form a different picture of myself.
As a child I often wondered as to which of my (then physically imagined) halves is Romanian and which is Hungarian, because, once I would discover the identity of my left side, I would know the nationality of my heart and would therefore belong somewhere.
And, quite logically, here comes architecture to save the day. The more I pointed my camera to buildings around Arad, the more they started to resemble those in Budapest, Vienna or Novi Sad. Smaller, a bit shabbier, a tad in disrepair, but it’s all connected- there’s an area of the world where people with often similar identity dilemmas lived, worked, created, and made a history which was not always the best or the smartest, but it’s the history we share and that stares back from us from the faces of the houses we built.