Final result fo xmas commercial I worked on at @bigskystudios for Finnish company IVALO
Nomadic Mind at ECLECTIC
5th Base Gallery
23 Heneage Street
London, E1 5LJ
11-13th July 2017
Nomad’s Hotel on PETRIe
” “There is one thing one should never do in a hotel room: commit suicide,” reads the opening line of an unwritten, vaguely unnecessary story about a hotel. Hotel rooms are, indeed, places that could not fully accommodate the immense and conflicting sense of tragedy and freedom of such an act; they are spaces ill-fitted for experiences that fall outside a certain predictability of temporary living. Photographer Malgorzata Wilarska explores the quality of the hotel room as non-place: a non-relational structure, impossible to colonise with personal histories, memory, or any evidence of humanity. In Nomad´s Hotel, Wilarska challenges the very architecture of a hotel room by visually deconstructing it, overlapping interior and exterior, with a clear intention to destabilise various symbolisms and affective dimensions attached to it: is this place really welcoming? Is it truly safe and intimate? Can it really be a temporary home?
Nomad´s Hotel is a visual rendition of isolated, undefined moments of despair; the uncanniness of recognising familiar domestic setting is doubled by a strange, unfriendly reality of being suspended in space and time. Wilarska makes the hotel room float in the unknowable mass of glass, steel, and darkness of the contemporary city. This sense of elevation reads as immateriality, emphasising the gap between physical and non-physical experience: a hotel room is a tangible space, yet leaves its inhabitants with a feeling of dematerialised, unfocused presence. This feeling might actually be the only accurate one in this context, as hotel rooms are spaces of transit; the only certainty here is that of passage, of inevitably vacating the space. Transient and shallow, the experience of a hotel room is somehow liberating: it doesn’t request information of origin or destination, it just acknowledges the nomad at an indeterminate moment of the journey.
Wilarska purposefully obscures elements of design and architecture: entrances are missing, walls are only suggested, light is under-functional. This aesthetic tendency towards the diffuse, the unrevealed reinforces the non-spatiality of the hotel room, which becomes anywhere and anywhen; this anonymity of place turns every hotel room in a repetition of another. In function and design, these rooms are only copies of an original that doesn’t really need to exist.
The fading physicality of the room in Wilarska´s project speaks to a larger tone of illusion associated with these spaces. From arriving to a room, to leaving it again, everything is an illusion: the arrival is met with a sense of purity and freshness, of a bed seemingly just put together for you, spotless surfaces, and no speck of dust. A clinical sense of cleanliness covers any trace of previous human presence, thus making histories impossible to imprint and survive. Your presence, your story, and any memories left in this place will be wiped out, dusted off, bleached, and discarded – an invisible, necessary, and sufficient ritual of erasure. If the hotel room is a friendly, cosy, welcoming space, it starts being so at the moment of arrival, and ends at the moment of departure.
The nomad is a perpetual traveller, never settled, never arriving. The strength of Wilarska´s vision lies with her subtle engagement with the tension of space that defines this nomadic experience. Nomad´s Hotel is a perfect visualisation of current relationships we have with urban and constructed space: not owning, not grasping anything for too long, not staying in one place long enough to have a claim over it, and not really wanting all of this in the first place. “
Words: Elena Stanciu
Today visiting The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK
Nomad’s Hotel on The Pupil Sphere
My work is heavily influenced by work of Dutch novelist Cees Nooteboom, particularly his book “Nomad’s Hotel: Travels in Time and Space”
One of my projects was to focus on the hotel as a non-place. The hotel is the ideal place for nomads; it is a place that can be a home without the fixation of what a home brings, this is also a place where a nomad can convey his solitariness to ‘others’
The modern hotels all around the world are similar. They offer comfort and intimacy. A big comfy bed temptingly invites us to lay down in it. White slippers placed next to the bed will wait to wrap our tired feet. The dim lamps give an instant feeling of twilight. The wall made of glass shows a beautiful panorama of the Metropolis. The little kettle, with boiling excitement, will heat the water for our coffee. There is always a telephone next to our bed with the person on the other side who is only waiting to fulfill our every request and the most comforting thought is, the same person will never have a request to us. We enter either a simple or a luxurious room, the doors are closing and we are no longer where we think we are. Artificial air flows from the ventilation and fills the space. There is no window to open. Everything is hermetically sealed. Our room becomes our cell.
“A story about hotels can, of course, be written only in a hotel. A hotel is a closed world, a demarcated territory, a claustrum, a place one enters freely. The guests are not there by chance, they are members of an order. Their room, whether simple or luxurious, is their cell. When they shut the door of that room behind them and are within, they have withdrawn from the world” (Nooteboom, 2007, p. 81).
Me shooting for British Fashion Council
Location: The Store Studios, 180 The Strand, London