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Seiichi Furuya
  The Revenge of Recollection
Die Rache der Erinnerung

The Revenge of Recollection
»The Journey« is the title given by SEIlCHI FURUYA to a collection of six enlarged contact sheets which show everything he photographed in the period between spring and autumn 1985. This period covers the last months in the life of his wife who in autumn 1985 took her life in East Berlin where they were living at the time. Incapable of finding a different format, Furuya assembled the photographs in this way in 1988, they can be read like a diary. He names the places where the photographs were taken: East Berlin, Graz, Venice (their last trip together), Potsdam (a Sunday outing), East Berlin. What Furuya is able to show here, is eve­rything that he managed to record in the period in question. Were those the things he saw, then? Again and again, images from the TV screen, information from the world outside but also a way of turning your back on the world inside; snapshots from the trip; a watch giving the exact time when the atom bomb was dropped over Hiroshima; the family at the table: the wife and the child; the husband; constellations of »two« and »one« as though to repeat two photographs immediately preceding these, of a TV transmission of a cycle persuit race; the marble statues in Potsdam; wife and child there; the Parade on October 7; the »Angé­lus« picture by Millet; a knife on the table; chunk of meat in the bowl. Already the limits of what can be communicated seem to have been rea­ched. Everything, each element that can be seen, holds its own inexora­ble truth for the person who actually saw it. It is immutable in its signifi­cance for the whole, even if it only helplessly records a tiny fragment of what this reality m e a n t . It seems as if not to avert his gaze was the only possible form of perception. No other way to show it, to speak of the experience of it all, than to leave well alone: no need to express what cannot be expressed: accepting what is said, what can be seen, for what was (is). Just admitting the truth as it is shown for him in these photographs. They follow one another as in an interior monologue; it is alright if the same thing is repeated over and over again. There is no search for the right word, the right image. No moving away from the places that keep the memory alive: invocation and banishment at the same time. [...]

© Christine Frisinghelli, 1989

From:Camera Austria International, no.29/1989

East Berlin 1985