One Moment Before Awareness

Rosalina Lichtzier

The name of the series is "A Moment Before Awareness". It was created in Vienna, in winter 2007 and it deals with the gap between experience and memory.

During my stay in Vienna as an exchange student I encountered again a very powerful experience from my past ( and the echoes often appear also in the present) as a migrant from Russia, and it is an encounter with a situation in which I am again rootless. Again I was present in a place I did not know before, a place in which I have no past, whose language is hidden from me both in the cultural sense and as a language per se.

Instinctively the camera became a shield for me, a tool with which to document and to invent. It was an animal reaction to the situation I confronted (either justifiably or not) of the threat of mental disappearance. The camera proved the reality of my existence again and again, created it each time anew, told a story. I would go back again and again to the same places, look at them for the first time, and afterward I would look at the picture memory which formed on the retina of my eye. The photograph was made at different stages of the process of the sinking of the views into my history, into my mental archive. Therefore with time this instinctive act began to take the form of research on the taking root of views in memory. The field of research had moved from outside to inside.

The photographs in this series are presented with the logic of a movie screen. That is because the history of this work is not Vienna as a geographic site, but rather a foreign environment that causes an arousal of consciousness, from a sort of stumbling in the process you do not quite remember who you are. An experience which takes place and returns to the cinema as an editor, and screens images from the real world.

  one moment.ppt (595 KB)



Off the Record, July 2009