Sometimes, in spite of what I come back to firmly believe in again and again, a chance encounter can happen even on a social media like Instagram. Let me explain: not that Instagram has anything wrong with it, but it is clear as day what is the main problem with a social media that lives mainly on trends (at least to me).
Instead, in rare cases, it turns into very special and, if you will, very personal opportunities. By chance, scrolling through profiles and looking for photographic complexity and authorial instinct, I come across the profile named @particularplaces, run by Saskia de Wit.
Everything I am about to say is from my personal reflections and progressive feelings, in no way do I want to associate my thoughts with what this profile really is for the author. I will try to write a brief introduction and create some reasoning, not to abstract in a totally arbitrary way. By God, I feel like I’m writing a diary.
Let’s cut to the point.
Every single photograph in this profile is linked to a description of where it was taken. The type of image comes across as candid, exact, personally defined, and just. The text and image help to enrich the imagery in the viewer’s head, but the intrinsic value of this profile, in my opinion, is its ability to create a visual geographic pattern in the viewer’s mind.
The places photographed vary: natural landscapes, floral expanses, mixed landscapes, borderlands, interiors, and exhibition spaces. It is not the usual photograph represented but an instinctive pressure that leaves the mark of the place that has been experienced and admired.
Not only image, Saskia de Wit’s work is a work of reflection on space and time: by presenting us with the image of the real place at the moment of the shot and associating it with a reflection beyond the time fixed within the photograph. The author gives us a way to understand a fabric of thoughts that serves almost as a timeline of a personal “I”, revealing an intimate relationship with places and, perhaps, suggesting an important emotional connection with them.
All of this enclosed in a grid of three columns, which, however, in this case have the function of an archive of contemplation. The contemplation of place, for us as viewers, is perhaps a way of approaching the reality of Saskia, which explicitly gives us back a historical reality of place and, implicitly, gives us the possibility of a glimpse into our own intimate relationship with places as an archive of contemplation.
The technical side is important because, in this case, we do not need licked and technically flawless images. Here we need the digital error, the directness of a protracted gazes and an autonomous analysis that is possible only through association with a text that does not explicitly reveal to us the intimacy of the relationship with the place, but leaks it implicitly into our minds allowing us to ask the right questions.
All this, perhaps, betrays me an extremly melancholy about the passage of time. Most of my childhood monuments are disappearing or changing, one after another. What remains of those places are the feelings, the understanding of the spaces, and the experience I carry with me.
And perhaps that is what I find in Saskia’s work: the roughness of the concrete, the soft light clouds on an industrial complex, the brilliance of the sun hurling down on the grass, and an old tree that remains standing and that we were able to get to know in an old shot but which, we are told, still lives today in the tumult of change.
It is a profile that has been curated over a long time, and I cannot know if Saskia De Wit will decide to continue it in the future, but, personally, I have enjoyed discovering, talking about and presenting it to you since it has created many personal insights for me.
We have come to the end of this little reflection on Saskia de Wit’s work, if you are interested in finding out more about what I have been talking about, you can find her Instagram profile here.