A Catalogue Of Constant Motion
A Catalogue of Constant Motion published by Automatic Books.
256 pages 4 color Risograph. Edition of 200 copies.
Every collection is a form of truth. By collecting objects or images, we make our most secret desires known, as well as reveal a universal, fundamental fear of forgetting. Collecting, more than anything, means creating memories of things that we consider important. Collections are private and personal, a unique expression of who we are and how we would like our life to be remembered.
But they are also put together to be seen, appreciated and consumed. Their honesty, unmediated beauty and authenticity is relished as much as it can be criticised and torn apart. For this reason, the very process of collecting is an act of courage – a hope that what we treasure the most will, ultimately, be understood.
Amanda Marsalis has been building her collection of images since she was a teenager. With her Polaroids, she has collected numerous shots of sunsets, palm trees, hotels, exquisite meals, enviable clothes, airports and beautiful men. Taken over eight years, the photographs gathered in this volume show the depth of her obsessions in collecting the same subjects, experiences and memories over long periods of time with the same meticulous, systematic approach. By choosing to use polaroids for capturing her most intimate moments, she established a language for distinguishing private from public, personal from professional. At the same time, though, her own world has become intelligible through the unique patina of that quick instant in which an image is formed. The visual language of these images makes them particularly special and vulnerable, as they show Amanda's continuous desire to expose the recurrent themes of her life both in subject and form. But they also show an uncertainty about how future might unfold. Will the images fade away, slowly, like memories?
By selecting and putting this extensive stream of images together, Amanda has saved her memories from becoming obsolete, but also made those intimate moments available for everyone to consume. As we catch a glimpse of her uniquely desirable life, we experience that familiar, nostalgic longing for a future that we could have called our own. As one of her closest friends remarks, “This compilation of Amanda’s Polaroids is not only a testimony to her perseverance in the face of such fundamental changes in photography technology over the past decade, but a testimony to her otherwordly grit and resolve in the art of capturing moments. The eerily consistency and growth in her ability to document intimate and light infused slices of life can only come from someone who has wandered the world for our enjoyment.” The symbolic consumption of images, though, is never a one-way street. It creates a relationship not only between the photographer and what is being photographed, but, ultimately, between the viewer and the very ideas, struggles and feelings that come with capturing every single shot. As Amanda reveals herself, her work and her life with a desire to be accepted and validated, she also ignites that subtle envy for the perfectly beautiful lifestyle that her work portrays.
This is, perhaps, why she is so attracted by the instant gratification offered by her medium of choice. In a moment in history when reality is experienced solely through images and the value we attribute to life under the public eye has possibly reached its peak, her work, nevertheless, shows a resistance to be framed within the current image-centred zeitgeist. From Polaroids to Instagram and back, we get to understand that our world of appearances is not that novel and unique. Maybe the truth is that we have always been vain. Yet, life under the spotlight can also be an expression of honesty – an earnest desire to be remembered at our best. With “A Catalogue of Constant Motion” we are reminded that the most precious of moments are easily forgotten, that life is fragile and often lonely, that time inevitably passes by, and, ultimately, that we all need to feel like we belong.