Thursday, 5 August 2010

the melancholy diary of hotel rooms (Paris)






'He wrote me: I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining. We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten. How can one remember thirst?'


... a melancholy whose color I can give you by copying a few lines from Samura Koichi: “Who said that time heals all wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything except wounds. With time, the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear, and if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other, then what remains is a wound... disembodied.”





(excerpts from Chris Marker's Sans Soleil)


  1. are you just putting up something that it's impossible for me to dislike at any level? lol

    and then chris marker!

  2. bonjour Roxanan, another masterpeice. It is amazing the way your images interact exquisitively with the text.
    Even before reading the text I felt that your images were transcending time- that the moment was so much more than the moment but that so many events led to this moment and so many other events led to those in a labyrinth of time immemorial and I can feel the veil of the dream tearing..

    have another beautiful magical day.

  3. I love the ethereal quality of these images. I especially like the one with the toothbrush on the floor. I don't know how such small, functional spaces can produce such chaos and confusion in one. That's at least one component of my personal experience with hotel rooms so I guess I'm projecting that onto your images!

  4. you're not going to use that toothbrush are you?


    more wonderful pictures. how do you do it? again, and again?

  5. Roxana,
    Hier soir encore je regardais "Memoirs of a geisha", pour la énième fois.
    Cette fois, j'ai retenu en particulier le moment où il est fait allusion à un poème sur la perte. "On n'écrit pas la perte. On la ressent".
    Tes photos se ressentent, se sentent, laissent un parfum de douceur et d'amertume, le passé émoussé comme un rêve qui disparaît peu à peu le matin...La poudre de riz sur laquelle on souffle et qui s'envole puis meurt dans l'air.
    Je t'embrasse

  6. Le passage exact de la version française est :

    "Sur le mur d'un temple,
    un poète voulu écrire sur la perte.
    Il écrit trois mot qu'ensuite il raya,
    Car on ne peut dire la perte, on peut seulement la ressentir"...

  7. Not sure...I think your more talented.
    Images transcending time???????
    Labyrinth of time....????
    No not for me.
    What you have in your landscapes are THE MOMENT....that's all and that is what we all seek in photography.
    Time is different.
    One of the major philosophical currents in Proust's day was the study of the nature of time. Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity inspired scientists and artists alike to reassess the meaning of time and the inherent subjectivity of existing interpretations of time. One of the most famous philosophers at the turn of the century was Henri Bergson, who believed in a more "natural" form of time called "duration," which "flowed" like music. Unlike the "homogenous" time measured by a clock, Bergson's duration had no pauses, but was instead an interconnected "interpenetration" of moments that were indistinguishable from each other. Proust adapted this idea to explain his theories about time and memory. He wrote that "we labor in vain" to try to recapture the past by means of the intellect; only the workings of chance will draw a person back in time to the moment he seeks. Proust compares his own theories about time and memory to the Celtic belief that the souls of deceased loved ones are held captive in objects; these lost loved ones are reincarnated only when a person brushes against or passes by these objects and recognizes the voices of these loved ones.

  8. You leave me breathless...

  9. You say a story with your amazing photos and some well placed quotes.
    I am visiting from Magic Lantern Show. This is a beautiful post.

  10. Ian I enjoyed your comments about time but you responded to mine saying that it is all about the moment and that is true the moment is captured and exalted by a wonderful photographer like Roxana but the moment has to have a history and that is what enriches it.The viewer views the moment, the photographer views the moment through a stream of consciousnes,through the camera's eye alsowhich is an unending river of memories and feelings it is impossible to cut yourself away from that

    and Roxana I love this idea of the wound disembodied still existing our time and actions have a trace forever and I feel-well it is my dream here today-in connection with the text that the memory is being rewritten in a flash in this moment as the camera flashes.

    à plus tard chère Roxana, merci encore pour ton magnifique travail.

  11. One ought to have asked about transience. Did you notice it when your hand felt the coarseness of the rusty bolt that eerily fascinated you? It was the day you took refuge on a lonely park bench. There were also, if you care to remember, small birds ambling on a tufted knoll. A cloud passed and you felt the sweet smell of grass somehow mocked your fluttering senses. All these gardens, as the doughty ice-cream vendor had said, were for those who understood everything. This had saddened you as it interrupted the usual assembly of kaleidoscopic images that you used to swear added up to one thing: mystery.

    A group of rambunctious children, dressed in colorful fripperies and lead by a harum-scarum boy of Napoleonic height, marched arms
    akimbo amid the vastness of la belle France toute verte. They migrated out of earshot and you were impelled to study the strange way the knots in the wood planks circled inwardly, like a memory.

    There was a hint of frailty in the way you rubbed your eyes and later, tousled your hair. You were in Paris, alone, hazily silent. Your wrist watch had stopped and everything was as solid as a dream.

  12. very close and real, even in print and light....

    time and timing captured.

  13. and there is the cameramind that gathers and focuses light from the past and even prenatal light passed on through hereditary memory.........

  14. gerade in der Fremde, in einem fremden Raum erinnert man sich des eigenen Lebens. Es berührt Dich wie ein sanfter Luftzug, jedes Detail auf eine ergreifende Art erfassend. Ich denke dann, man soll den Augenblick der Aufmerksamkeit nutzen, das Fenster öffnen und sein Herz befreien...
    Alles Liebe Dir, Roxana!

  15. the silver breath of memory
    like the rivermist at dawn
    seen over the endless field
    of rooftops: transcendence
    of melancholy, through melancholy,
    in those half lost places where
    the shadows flee, shadows of time
    and eros, artefacts in the gulph
    of desire, this diary left in a
    hotel room

  16. merc
    (a silent smile)

    swiss :-)
    watching Sans Soleil, i so dearly regretted not having this camera while in Japan, to shoot video as well...

    amar, bonjour, chere
    you are completely right, i also felt like this when taking those pictures, a kind of delirium at night (so many events led to this moment and so many other events led to those in a labyrinth of time immemorial and I could feel the veil of the dream tearing).

    je t'embrasse, de tout coeur, tu as dit l'essentiel et maintenant tout ce que je peux faire est: repeter tes mots, tu vois? :-)

  17. S., i know ...
    all my love.

    Stickup Artist, "ethereal" is such a wonderful word that i feel one should produce ethereal images just to hear it uttered :-)

    anon, as a matter of fact, i am. i don't know how i do it, how do you write all those magnificent posts? :-)

    oh, K'line, c'est une citation magnifique, je t'en remercie de tout coeur. elle pourrait figurer comme l'embleme de ce blog, il y a tant de themes qui ont trait a ce sentiment melancolique-doux-amer de la perte. mais je me suis toujours demande: est-ce que l'on peut fotografier la perte? je devrais peut-etre tout rayer, pour rester fidele a cette verite: la perte est inexprimable, on la ressent seulement.

  18. Ian, hello

    nice to see you back to the blogging world again.
    i am most grateful to you for reminding us the basics of modern time philosophy which we all had in college.
    i have to admit that i have always been fascinated with the ability of uttering general, beyond-all-doubt 'truths' like: "What you have in your landscapes are THE MOMENT....that's all and that is what we all seek in photography.
    Time is different" (especially when one bases his argument upon Einstein's relativity theory). how can one single person know what 'we all' seek in photography, i wonder. and if it were as simple as that to know what time 'is', why would have all these philosophers argued and contradicted themselves about for centuries?

    i won't even mention that if a physicist gets to read many of these so-called time-theories and what artists understood from Einstein's theory, he will laugh to death (i have tested this). luckily we (in humanities and arts) have the luxury of celebrating subjectivity so, for the sake of it, let's accept that somebody can see a 'labyrinth of time' there where you only see the "nunc stans" - shall we? :-)

    Owen: i like that :-)
    (and i am, as always, grateful that you made once again the Bridge a part of your Magic Show, your generosity knows no limits)

    chere amar, again i feel the urge to quote you, i feel exactly like this:
    "the moment has to have a history and that is what enriches it.The viewer views the moment, the photographer views the moment through a stream of consciousnes,through the camera's eye also which is an unending river of memories and feelings it is impossible to cut yourself away from that".

    isn't exactly this tension between the moment and time's flow which contributes to the magic of photography, i wonder...

    thank you, TechnoBabe, for your visit and nice words...

  19. Prospero,
    you were made to make films. do you know this?
    perhaps you were meant to come to the Bridge only to have this said by somebody :-)
    it always happens when i read you: eyes open inside me and i see a film, i see the exact scenes and their order and their colours and compositions with excruciating precision. and i feel the urge to take the camera in my hands and shoot that film. perhaps you will end up making a feature film director out of me :-)

    thank you, Dianne, from all my heart. i am glad every time you come by...

    liebste Renee, ja, wie oft machen wir das dann, das Fenster öffnen und unser Herz befreien: in der Nacht glimmert die fremde Stadt vor unseren Augen, wir verlieren uns in die geheimnisvolle Stimmung hinein, unsere Gedanken verfluechtigen sich, verschwinden allmaehlich, wir schweben...
    alles Liebste Dir, meine Gute...

  20. Sutton, if i ever erase the Bridge and make a new blog, i will keep this magnificent line as its title:
    the silver breath of memory -

    (thank you, i know, you understand so well)

  21. A la recherche du temps perdu; dans les brunes du matin. lustration meulage de surjection beau comme toi.

  22. a first or last tango in Paris? wonderfully evocative & (yes) melancholy photos - (but they show redemption too, in the simple sensuousness of simple acts)

    anyway, the lines you quoted reminded me of emily dickinson's lines:
    they say that time assuages
    ah, but time never did assuage
    a real suffering strengthens
    as sinews do with age

  23. Alain, a la recherche du temps perdu, toujours - je pense que c'est une question de temperament, au fond, on a ce penchant ou non...

  24. ah fff, how did you know i love that film?

    and such perfect lines you quoted, what more could one say?...

    (i am glad you saw redemption as well, though i am not so sure - i remember having already talked about this, once, on your Frivolous Fragments, the redemptive function of memory, you being the optimist Proustian, if you allow me this barbarism - or the Proustian per se, actually -, while i was/am the pessimist one - or the perverted Proustian :-)