Tsakmaki, Lena

Lena Tsakmaki, Palo Alto CA, USA

Empty Places

Lena Tsakmaki: The Bedroom, silver gelatine print, 2005, 34x44cm, edition 33

Spaces… Places…People…Soul.. Breath… Light… Emotions.. Life… End of Life..

Empty Places explores the relationship of people and the buildings/places that enclose their lives, using as an example places in my life. It is a study in the sense of space as an expanded containment of self.

When thinking of this relationship several issues emerge. Since the human body is the enclosure, the housing of the soul, then buildings by extension of being the houses of humans, become the houses of emotions. Furthermore, I believe that buildings can acquire a "soul", by the mere fact that they are the enclosures and the acting stages of the emotional worlds of the people that live in or pass through them. And in the same way that human lives end, the lives of buildings can end and start again through the new people that inhabit them. In addition places can conjure up memories of emotions.

Light in the way it enters and leaves a space is like the breath of that space, so I seek that light and in photographing it I attempt to capture the "essence", the "soul" of those places.

These images represent private and public places intimately familiar to me, that I photographed at a stage when I knew that were about to change forever, or that I wouldn't have access to anymore. They form a visual personal diary. By capturing the light of these places I try to preserve stages in my life, two dimensional records of the feeling of being there.

While the personal references should be irrelevant for the viewer's consideration of this work, I hope that the viewer will develop a personal feel for the image, an engagement into the atmosphere of the photograph, a response to the usually fleeting light. And it is the image and its light that will function in the same way as a fragrance or a song do, both having the capacity to generate different feelings and different memories to different people.

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