Photography is all about the moment. Like Butterfly collectors we search in earnest for it just so that we can add it to the other ‘specimens’ that we have found and chosen to preserve. They are moments that we have thought about and imagined in our mind’s eye, and moments that we return to so much that they become a part of us in the passing of time. But they are never lived moments only imagined one’s that took place when we were never really there.
Beyond the door of the morgue, I listened to voices laughing outside in the sun and momentarily thought about stopping loading film into my camera and pause to think about where I was and about whom the person was lying opposite me. I looked at his shoelace and thought that only a few hours before he’d carefully tied it tight and yet now they would never be untied by him. But this was only really a minor temporal displacement, in between loading film, and I once more returned back into the hypnotic state of image making.
It’s really only after the moment had gone, that I lived it. That I thought about who he might have been and what had happened to him. As at the time, the exhilaration of seeing an image; that had once only existed in my mind and that was now before me in the oxygen of the real, took over and took me to another place far away from thoughts of his carefully tied white shoelaces. But it is always about the moment, the moment that you think is out there somewhere in the world but is always somewhere within. And so we continue to wave our nets around in order to capture the Butterflies but perhaps ultimately we are always in search of ourselves.