Return : to come back to a place or to a person. For someone who has been living abroad for a long time, the word “return” carries a lot of ambiguities, as it does the idea of « home ». In the journeys back and forth from the home/land to the country of residence, of every day life, to the new home, the meanings, memories and feelings attached to them blur and intertwine. Turn comes from Latin tornus "lathe" from Greek tornos "lathe, tool for drawing circles." A movement in circles, a journey without a unique destination, cyclical, repetitive, similar yet different every time. The familiar faces, gestures and places that inhabit our chilhood memories are similar, yet different every time. The person making the journey is also similar, yet different every time.
Re/Turn is a collection of images taken by Patricia Morosan, now living in Berlin, during her travels to her native Romania, back to her parents and the place where she was born. Her photographs are partial, subjective, fragmentary, following the ungovernable and disjointed rhythm of experiences and souvenirs. If memory is also a matter of the body, of the senses, following the constant movement of time, so are Patricia's photographs: they are textural, tactile, reintroducing duration, affect, contingency to the surface of the image. Her embodied vision suggests intimacy, bringing us to the sphere of relation, of contact, of images that adhere and eyes that touch. Yet, instead of affirming the physical presence, these images seem to prefigure a disappearance, an imminent and inevitable absence. There is something evanescent, spectral, in these bodies and places. Maybe we are just allowed to feel these encounters and memories with our fingertips, to for a brief instant, before they start fading away. Further and further away on the river or up the hill, frame after frame, image after image. While waiting to return, again.
"The past is a country from which we all emigrated, and its loss is part of our humanity"
Re/Turn is a multimedia project for which I recorded moments of returning to the place where I was born. After more than a decade living abroad, this work was born out of a necessity to explore the memories of my origin and rises therefore questions about a new hybrid identity. As the Indian-English novelist Salman Rushdie has written, it is impossible for emigrants to recover the homelands they have left behind. The best they can do is "to create fictions, not actual cities and villages, but invisible ones, imaginary homelands". It seemed to me that, for this project, the notion of imaginary homeland could be very helpful for thinking about my childhood and early youth in Romania. The strong maternal and paternal images I create in this work are a continuation of the heritage that I take with me in my Western domicile, where I also return to. The destination of the metaphor of the journey, as returns, is unclear, and the meaning of 'home' ambivalent. The partial nature of these memories which I collect and add to a posteriori, their fragmentation and discontinuity are evocations of a highly personal and symbolical narrative of memory and home. There is in Re/Turn an interest in the notion of the passage of time, as expressed in the movement of the body and in its surroundings. The paradox of simultaneously getting closer to and further away becomes a meditation on the division in Re/Turn.
PATRICIA MOROSAN - BIO
Patricia Morosan studied photography at the Ostkreuzschule in Berlin. In her visual poetic work, she negotiates the duality of intimacy and identity. Represented by Galerie Franzkowiak, her work have been exhibited at Les Rencontres de la Photographie d‘Arles Voies Off, Arles; Les Boutographies, Montpellier; at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest; Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin; Metamatic TAF, TV Control Center (KET), Athens; Atelier Varan, Paris; at FotoWien, Vienna; the Noorderlicht International Festival and at the Foto Forum, Bolzano. In 2019 she won the Jury Award from Les Boutographies and the Courage Prize of the Association of Women Journalists in Germany. She was nominated for the Art Prize of the Haus am Kleistpark in Berlin (2019), for the Wellcome Photography Award (2020) and the Documentary Prize Wüstenrot (2020).