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Today I’m going to tell you about the play I saw some time ago.
4.48 Psychosis is not really a play, though – a suicide note, left by a young woman suffering from a severe case of depression. She keeps a diary of mental chaos unravelling in her mind, her consciousness stream sinking in pills, dreams and loosing touch with reality. Because this “diary” is in abstract form, there are myriad interpretations and concepts of staging it.
Honestly, I hesitated a lot before going to see the play. I was quite afraid how it would affect me afterwards, considering depression is not something I’m not familiar with myself. One thing is to read it, another to observe and re-live it (if the performance allows it).
The performance left a very light feeling. Not a feeling of death and hopelessness of dead-end, but rather a blanketing feeling of relief and hope, which is so rare these days and which I treasure always. Suicide is a very sensitive subject and, unfortunately, taboo among many but it is vital one to talk about. How do you interpret respectively someone’s suicide note on stage? I felt that why this directing was especially successful, it is because it brought out different layers and it was not afraid to bring out even humour. Of course, they made us laugh intentionally, yet it was not about digging out of the text a comedy genre, neither it was about finding a dark humour. The written piece is heavy and intimate – it felt like shouting in silence when I was reading it. Not sure how else to put this into words. As for the stage performance, all these hidden layers I might have subconsciously erased while reading came onto surface, the author’s mind’s catastrophe and decomposition was right in front of us. It was frightening and magnificent. Even when being in state of sanity, our thoughts are never going through at the same frequency: they can laugh, they can shout, the thoughts can cry and plead. They can be silent.
The stage was set up in several rows of wooden long benches descending like stairs, and three characters constantly found themselves on different levels, reminding me of thoughts jumping from stair to stair, of different realities and dreams the author must have been travelling through.
The stairs of the consciousness. Sometimes ascending, sometimes descending – could be both, depending on the angle from which you look. Anyway, it’s all illusion, no?
Like in desert – the concepts of time, space and energy are all intertwined and blended, and distorted if I may say.
This manuscript of Ethiopian Orthodox Church includes tales and miracles of Archangel Michael – one of those popular figures omnipresent in different religions and communions – framed by brilliant illustrations. I’m neither versed nor even slightly interested in religious texts usually, but illuminated manuscripts and such treasures as this one fascinate me with their simple yet stunning beauty.
Let me walk you through the old church in the heart of Jerusalem, and let’s turn the pages of this history together.
When the crowd is overwhelming with its conformity and closing in on you. This gorgeous monster knows how to deal with such a (minuscule) blender… Or, maybe it tried blending in and munching on every thing flowing by – alas, everybody freaked out. But seriously – my first experience with underwater photography was majestic and […]
Today I’m going to tell you about the play I saw some time ago. 4.48 Psychosis is not really a play, though – a suicide note, left by a young woman suffering from a severe case of depression. She keeps a diary of mental chaos unravelling in her mind, her consciousness stream sinking in pills, […]
I was laying on my back basking in sun, disappearing in breeze and drowning in the intoxicating aroma of flowers. I rolled over, pushing hands into the water and looked – expecting to see the reflection of mine, the reflection of sky, striped in white and blue, the reflection of quietly shushing trees high above, […]
With his left hand he pushes the wheel forward, at the same time stepping hard with his left leg on the ground. The wheelchair tends to move not forward but slightly to the left, so he constantly needs to readjust the direction. I cannot see his face, but his hair is long and greyish white. Yellow sweater. It’s […]
I was laying on my back basking in sun, disappearing in breeze and drowning in the intoxicating aroma of flowers. I rolled over, pushing hands into the water and looked – expecting to see the reflection of mine, the reflection of sky, striped in white and blue, the reflection of quietly shushing trees high above, the reflection of tiny plane-bug buzzing in the air, maybe. But instead I saw reflection of nothing. Nothing, as whiteness? Or nothing, as darkness? Neither. Just nothing. White blackness.
For the first exhibit I chose the theme “Reflections”, as this is one of my favourite consistent photography subjects. Be it mirror reflections, sunshine reflected on the water surface or musing looking at a photo – I love discovering those moments, saving them in time and so far collected quite a lot in my archives.
Sometimes, the distorted reflection reveals more about the subject than its own original state. Sometimes, there is no reflection, neither distorted nor straight mirroring – just emptiness and white blackness. Often, the reflection is only what we want to see.
These are the prints that I selected for the exhibit.
With his left hand he pushes the wheel forward, at the same time stepping hard with his left leg on the ground. The wheelchair tends to move not forward but slightly to the left, so he constantly needs to readjust the direction. I cannot see his face, but his hair is long and greyish white. Yellow sweater.
It’s taking a painfully long amount of time for him to cross the narrow street; it seemed the wheelchair almost went opposite direction to what he was trying to achieve.
At last, he reached the sidewalk. With the slight hill. As a passerby, you wouldn’t even notice the incline, but for him that must have been a challenge. I thought I should probably cross the street and help him. While I was contemplating – and no, it didn’t last longer then 10 seconds which seemed like few minutes to me – he managed to overcome the incline and continue crawl along the sidewalk. I could see his right leg, or whatever was left of it, trembling (or did I imagine it?), I could sense the whole body going tense. I could almost hear that desperation and determination at the same time. I cannot really explain my vision of this, but mostly it was brought by memories of my tortures during walking (or trying to) when I had my own health issues. And not a single passerby offered help: not blaming, as I looked more like a drunkard or stoner rather than young woman struck by chronic horrific pain. Would I be grateful to a stranger offering me help on my way when I couldn’t stand up or was simply stuck? At first yes, of course, but at second thought I would feel really depressed thinking that I did not have ability to go on anymore, to do it on my own. And I think mainly why I survived those couple years was that I knew I could do it on my own, that I was strong enough. So looking at that man with his right side paralyzed, I kept thinking that he would manage it on his own. That he must and that he will. I almost started to send him vibes “go on, don’t stop, you can do it.” I was ready to run and help if something went wrong but I knew that he’d make it.
This was very emotional for me to watch – and not only because I could relate to this man in his helplessness and yet determination to go on. The wheelchair he used was a manual one, as you already could guess. The manual one with two handlers on the top. It is meant to be pushed by somebody else, helping him to go over this hill and many others, too. They just looked so empty. Too empty.
In a sense, we all have these handlers behind us, and sometimes (or most of the times) they might seem empty. Should we rush to take them and push each other? I believe we like when we do it on our own, but when we cannot we appreciate when somebody is nearby ready to help us..
I finally got the courage to attempt the food photography – one of the most mysterious and challenging (after portraiture) for me. As I thought, watching those videos where the whole crew of photographers, stylists and painters run around the table with dozen of dishes and props. Of course, there is still that persistent element of lighting – and, since I was told dozen times one should avoid by all means flash when working with food — that was in particular tricky. But I’m mainly talking about arrangements. Basically, what stylists are paid to do – for the commercials and fancy tv shows. What I had to improvise on my own.
It is not just about arranging the composition. It is playing with colour and taking into account all the nuances — light, props, table cloth, wrinkles, shadows, color of bowls and color of cups, plates and many more. I do not think in any way I succeeded in cracking even few of those dozen of different layers, but I’m actually satisfied with the result that I got. I thought I would end up with much worse photos.
I’m excited to mention Sushi Couture, that trusted me to play with their food — which was, by the way, exceptional in the taste and presentation. Hopefully next time I’ll bring on something new and jump onto the next level of this mouthwatering photographic experience:)
It takes around 5 minutes to set up the composition: either chopsticks fall from the plate, meanwhile soup settles down and one has to stir it again, then the lighting changes its angle and… start all over again:)
Cheesecake — I felt it was asking for the plate with interesting color pattern, right? The simplicity is powerful itself, but with just a slight touch up/twist you can emphasize even more the beauty of that simplicity.
And finally, few moments to relax and sip a cup of strong coffee and have a bite of that very cheesecake!