It might be a misconception that this place is isolated. In a place bombarded by white dots, the temperature forces our coats to rest on excited shoulders. Such is the expression of joy and wonder across the faces of ordinary figures; it is hard to get a sense of the surroundings. For the landscape might impale with a risk of danger but the warm hue of light softens the blade – makes us crush into a comfortable and strangely warm position. At risk of sounding a little vague, Bego Anton’s series Days Under Our Feet provides us with a series of moments that are hard to piece together. With the constant bombardment of miniature snowballs, we are in a restless land. A land that contemplates the soles of people treading on their surface and how the people react to the land they find themselves in.
It is almost like fantasy as the location provokes unbeknown responses from a collection of people. The series contemplates the earth beneath us, and how it provides a support network but also the excitable element and our needs to feel natures gentle force. It is an experience where we cannot take too much, nor can we take too little – nature tries its hand at assessing the situation depending on the health and wellbeing of the subjects. It might seem impossible for nature to have a conscience and its haphazard hands provide real threat to those who wander into it. The wild can destroy us without even knowing it.
In moments of night and dark, sun perishes ice and leaves us with water. The cycle seems never ending. I get the feeling the ice is looking for a day off, but does not have enough holiday hours left. This cycle is relentless, brutal and forceful. Nature cannot take the day off, nor decide it is too tired to work, it must work at all hours, times and moments. The way we deal with the location, as people, as subject’s even leaves us at the mercy of something that knows nothing of our habits and needs. It cannot take care of us or nurture us. All we can do is sculpt out moments of pleasure in nature, without compromising our safety. In this sense, we are controlling our use of nature. Now, this is a common trend in photographic work to deal with our conversations and actions towards nature and this topic naturally forms from isolation in the places we live. The interesting issue is the way we combat our surroundings for our own gain and knowing the time to get out of its way. This topic is nothing new nor ground-breaking, but it doesn’t need to be. It is the simple observation we cannot fail to confront. It is cold out.
It is too hot for a jumper today,
what’s wrong with you?!
But it goes beyond temperature and this is only one of the issues raised in the work, I get the feeling it challenges our place in the world, where we belong and how we have to be prepared when we enter uncomfortable land.
This has a lot to do with aesthetics. The way in which the work is put together gives us a sense that we are not quite welcome here – its turbulence is quite frightening. As the sun peaks through the trees after a cold night the presence of the photographer searching, cowering the land for some answers, something to understand in the mysterious. For it was nature that put down its roots before we made our mark, and it is nature that will ultimately out live us. No matter what state it might be in after we are gone.
It is something out of our control, something we cannot change or alter for long periods of time. We are just along for the ride and nature is there for the long haul.
Written by Alexander Norton / Published 20 October 2014