I WAS HERE

by Philippe LEONARD
2012 / 16mm / b&w / sound / 1S / 6' 00




These images were captured during a long afternoon spent sitting in front of the Pantheon in Rome, paced by the sound of a shutter regularly opening and closing for long exposures whose duration was counted off in a whisper. At precise intervals, the photosensitive surface recorded the constant flow of tourists, people-watchers, cars and animals as they moved, stopped, gathered, and took photos. The historic building thus reveals itself as a magnet whose pull on people has lasted for centuries. I Was Here is a reference to the common phrase often found scratched on public walls, marks left as visible proof of a person’s visit to a place. Like that age-old practice, travel photography is an attempt to record a person’s presence in a particular place – a photographed place taken home as proof. The soundtrack comes from the same place, but from a different timeline: it was compiled from the audio tracks of amateur videos posted to YouTube. These audio snippets, all recorded in front of the same landmark, tell a collective story through each “I” that has recorded a visit to that same piazza. The clips of murmuring crowds were then edited and manipulated to give them a particular synchronization with the images.

1 PRINT IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format Digital file on server
screen 16/9 (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound sound
rental fee 30,00 €