Projects Every Friday and If Mark Doesn't Sleep, co-authored with my wife Anna, share a common creation time and similar ideas. When we started working on them, we adapted to a new country, learned a new language, and looked for a new job, while our little son Mark took up almost all our time.
Mark loved nothing more than spending hours by the sea playing with water and sand. In the evenings, we took long walks because he enjoyed his new life so much that he never wanted to go to bed, always wanting each day to last as long as possible. As it was getting dark, we walked together exploring a new magic world until Mark fell asleep in his stroller. Every Friday, we went to the sea with Mark and, each evening, we walked with him in the dark. This explains the titles of these two projects. As Mark grew up and started attending school, we continued to walk together. Nowadays, we have more time to take photos, and Mark is often happy to help.
Both of these projects focus on our perception and memory of reality, particularly how we perceive places and events. Every Friday stands in contrast to the concept of a "decisive moment," made popular by Henri Cartier-Bresson, which involves capturing an ephemeral and spontaneous event where the image represents the essence of that moment. However, we don't just remember one decisive moment; instead, we accumulate a subjective and interpretive impression of many moments that follow one after another without interruption. The human eye is highly selective and sometimes omits details in order to extract certain meanings, while in other instances, details from a moment ago blend with the current situation. Each photo in this project represents the result of meditative contemplation of a place or object for several hours.
The If Mark Doesn't Sleep project is another way to challenge how we perceive, remember, and recall our surroundings. When we walk along streets at night, we tend to see only what is illuminated by street lanterns. However, if we turn on a camera flash in an unlit or poorly lit place, a whole new world opens up to us, revealing unexpected and interesting details that we would have missed otherwise. The things we see during the day and at night in the same place can be vastly different from one another. Each picture taken at night is a complete surprise, as we never know what we'll see when the flash is on. Without the camera and flash, our memories of the walk would be entirely different. The flashes help reveal the mystery of our surroundings. Initially, Mark would fall asleep during the walks, but now he is an active participant in our study. We still often take walks in the evenings, which takes us to a world of fantasy.