Susan Silas
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standing in the landscape and return

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Each day I walked along the path over the ground the women from Helmbrechts traversed 53 years before me and each day I stopped and shot a video master shot of the landscape. It required standing still and looking and listening. I walked slowly, and so the depth and detail of the landscape available to my eyes and ears was far greater than what I would have perceived in a moving vehicle. Standing still expanded the perception of time still futher and awakened thoughts of the finite nature of the analog body, of the limits of that container in time and space, and of the number of women for whom that finite limit was reached where I now stood listening to bird song and the hum of the wind. Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) "likens our individual persons on the earth unto so many sense-organs of the earth's soul.... When one dies, it is as if an eye of the world were closed, for all perceptive contrtibutions from that particular quarter cease." From that perspective, one might think of the places where I stood as blind spots in the earth's soul.

After arriving in Prachatice, I retraced my own steps by car. What had taken 22 days on foot streamed past in a few hours. Again, I shot the landscape, this time out of the moving car in slow motion creating an inverse relationship between the speed with which I re-covered this distance and the pace at which the image registered in the video camera. For each day you can see the location where I stopped and next to it the landscape moving by from the end of the journey toward the starting point, like the mind moving backward in time trying to find the beginning.

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©2012 by Susan Silas