JERRY SPAGNOLI /// LOCAL STORIES
“Local Stories” is the title for the latest project. It is a rough translation for the idea of “petit ecrits” put forward by Lyotard as an alternative to the grand historical narratives generally promoted by society; the story of great men, and their great deeds. From my point of view the real experience of history is a personal one. Everything else is a fiction promoted or accepted for all sorts of good or bad reasons. Ultimately the only thing you can know is what you have proximity to, and even that is a construct of your own personal fictions (but at least they are yours). Every person on earth is a container of a history, possessing their own experiences and memories, and all of these histories jostle with one another, resisting and accommodating, in an endless flow, never reaching a consensus but constantly moving on. In order to represent this state I utilize a wide lens, seeking to gather as much of what is in front of me into the frame. The effect I’m after is the visual impression that the whole world is included, and in that view everybody is preoccupied with their own life, in the midst of others. The surface of the earth is a grand bazaar of life, every individual in open exchange with others, and with their own sense of themselves. It’s an ephemeral state. The only constant is its mutability, but there is always a center which holds it all together, the pivot around which all of this must necessarily gravitate and to suggest this point I placed the sun in the center of each image.
The idea underlying this project is that history is what occurs everywhere, all the time, all at once. It’s all connected, of course, in deep or superficial ways, but the hierarchies we have grown accustomed to are a fiction. The persistence of the idea of history as “the story of great men” (or women for that matter ), a singular narrative which excludes “extraneous” stories, robs individuals of the awareness of their own roles in the day to day creation of the world. In fact, for each individual, nothing really exists except the situation within which they find themselves. You can’t interact with anything in the world unless you have some sort of proximity to it.
These images are a metaphor for the democratization of the history of the world: they are general in viewpoint, diffuse in subject, and the only constant is the thing surely there from before the beginning and certain to be there after the end, the sun in the center of the sky.
☁ JERRY SPAGNOLI