Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stalkers/Сталкеры



If you are familiar with the "Roadside Piknic" a famous science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (all literate Russians of my generation are), then the word "Stalker" immediately brings you reminiscences of a Tarkovsky film and not the annoying psychopath intruding your personal life. In this film, "Stalker" is a guide to the mysterious Zone, an forbidden place which has intelligence of its own.



The photographers I know remind me this character strongly. They penetrate all the forbidden zones, semi-derelict houses, and when they can discover an abandoned hospital or factory with signs of human existence still there, they keep the location in secret and only trusted friends can be guided to the shooting scene. I know a couple of Stalkers and gladly go with them when invited. Not because I am a good photographer, I am just curious and enthusiastic)). They make a lot of research before they start shooting and need a sympathetic listener to share the information. Last weekend it was an old petroleum refinery in the Harbour of Antwerp, covered with litter and stained with graffiti The place that will disappear without a trace, will be demolished soon - seems to be a perfect reason to take photographs. While taking photos I was thinking about Tarkovsky's film. I found out I didn't remember any scene, only a feeling that I had when I watched it last time many years ago. The same mixed feeling of danger and curiosity was swirling in this place. Precarious glass on the roof, rusty and shaky ladders to the attic spaces, surreal objects and rain, lots of rain.