Lukas Birk - A moment's departure


the photo series A Moment's Departure plays with the visual perception of time through old photographic material.

In a city like Beijing, in which enormous changes take place within a very short time span, temporality takes on its own tempo. New shops, cafes and restaurants open daily, buildings are erected in a few month and outlying districts continue to merge with the city. Within the same timeframe, many shops, cafes and restaurants also close and entire neighborhoods are torn down to make space for new, modern high-rises. This constant state of flux creates a dynamic energy open for anything new. Though these changes are hugely welcomed, a plaintive tone for that which has vanished invariably sets in. Nostalgia is omnipresent, nostalgia for things almost still existing.

For this series, Lukas works with Polaroid film that expired in 1991, discovered by chance in a basement. The chemicals, given the age of the material, are practically unusable. The corrupted colors of the images resemble yellowed photographs from another era. Initially, one connects these images with something past, of an old China. Nostalgia for departed times. Only when studied in detail does the viewer separate the aged visual appearance of the images and their contemporary content. Instant nostalgia, as Lukas would title it.