In a little while from now
“Every choice, no matter how considered, is ultimately made in an instant. But there is a moment, just before. Before the decision is understood. Before the choice is articulated. Before the risk is taken. It is the last moment of stillness before the kinetic energy of change rises to alter the landscape. In this final lull – the calm before the storm – all outcomes remain possible. Will she stay? Will she walk away? All possibility is contained within her, and it is this fleeting moment of delicate balance that the lens has captured.
Implicit within the photograph is the presence of another, perhaps just gone from the room, leaving a story written across the body left behind. The woman has been irrevocably altered by her encounter, and the photographer has exposed the raw beauty of her contemplation; she will have made her choice with the next click of the shutter, but these images do not reveal her intent. Instead they invite you to wonder – where will she be in a little while from now…”
Joanne Piechota is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work has always reminded me of the themes of “Body, Remember”. She consistently captures the stillness to be found at the centre of chaos, whether her lens is focused on Shanghai, the island of Manhattan, or the terrain of a woman’s naked body.
In 2010 I worked with Jo on her visual essay “In a little while from now”. Participating in this project provided an opportunity to explore the levels of passivity an affair requires of its subjects, an endless looking backward because you can’t move forward. The affair itself may initiate on a plane of passion, confusion and (generally) incoherent actions but should it continue past those first few heady weeks or months, by its very nature it will require inaction to survive. Though you will get no argument from me regarding moral imperatives to avoid an affair, I would say the self-preserving consideration should be that all significant human interaction should be dynamic. There is a rhythm to relationships and when the cadence is slowed right down, when you see each other one day in seven, or one hour in twenty-four, when you celebrate Christmases early and Birthdays late, when you live out days, nights, sometimes even years in your head – the rhythm of your entire life is affected.
Should she still be in the same place in a little while from now, should she not make her choice, the story written across her body will remain unfinished – a work of art abandoned just as it was beginning to take form.
Many thanks to Jo for allowing me to use her images on this blog. There will be many a time where they will replace the word or expression that remains just out of my reach.