from the 11x11
I rarely use travel guides! I don’t like the instructional character of those books. For my travels I try to use references from movies, novels, songs, news and of course, random stories. A great influence for my travelling and the idealism that I constructed around it, were the comic albums I was reading since very young: the travels of Asterix from Goscinny and Uderzo and the adventures of Tintin from Hergé.
My star sign, I was told, dictates that I should stay my home and loathe travelling!
When I travel with my camera, this familiar dark box with the selective shutter creates an illusion of home. The fear of the unknown gets overtaken by the yearning of the explorer.
I had been travelling with photography for many years and I was accumulating photographs. I needed a good starting point in organising my fabrication.
The idea behind the eleven photographs came when I was waiting for the Wide Views of Physical Places to be printed and phrased to a friend my reservations on having eleven photographs in printed for that show. Fortunately my friend had a good knowledge of Numerology and impressed me explaining the significance of the number eleven. Subsequently, I did my research and out of pages and pages of classifications devoted to eleven I found my favourite: “eleven is the first number which cannot be represented by a human counting his or her eight fingers and two thumbs additively, and actually requires as an alternative for the human to count additively including the toes”.
Nevertheless I had the focal point for the organisation of this project.
Eleven travels with eleven photographs each.
It took more than a year to put everything together and produce the eleven booklets.
2_Turkey in the light,
6_Around the Baltic Sea,
7_In the Land of the Finns,
8_Trip to Iceland,
( All 11 booklets are available from my blurb shop)
The common coefficient in each book is the story of my journey. I decided I will have freedom on my viewing angle; landscape together with portrait, close up next to street photography, black and white along with colour, all in a unity facilitated by the choice of the prime (non-dividable) number eleven.
A retrospective, 10 years of journey, like a fictitious contact sheet.
The final state of this project was to compile all the booklets together, along with an introduction written by Anurag Jain, in one book, called 11x11.
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