Graz: Camera Austria, 2023.
I began the process of cleaning out my attic in the early months of 2018. The purpose was to sort through the piles of miscellaneous items that had been sitting around for decades and to dispose of anything unneeded. But the real purpose was to locate and sort through Christine’s belongings and preserve them. After randomly searching through the contents of cardboard boxes of various sizes, a bundle of white envelopes came up. Inside was an assortment of 110-format films from a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera that I had gifted Christine in 1978, sorted per film. It was not something I had dared to look for, and I could not suppress the surge of surprise and joy in me, for it was a find whose existence had actually disappeared from my memory. I scanned all of the negative film and printed the pictures out. The images unfolding before my eyes were breathtakingly vivid, bringing back to life days from the past that should have been lost. The “life story” that had been lying dormant on brown celluloid of only 13 by 17 millimeters stood before my eyes in the size of reality.
In the fall of 1978, I had gifted Christine with a 110 pocket camera. She continued to take pictures ever since, with many interruptions. In 1985, she resumed photography for the first time in three years, taking numerous pictures with her Pocket Instamatic camera until just before she took her own life in East Berlin in the fall of that year. To reconstruct that time period, I now relied on the events captured in the photographs and what was written in my and Christine’s notebooks. In this collection of photos taken in 1985, mainly by Christine and our son, Komyo, four years old at the time, fragments of everyday life captured by a Pocket Instamatic camera were unleashed on the flow of time.
This will be the latest edition of a photobook project that Seiichi Furuya began to develop in 2019, based on various documents found in the attic of his house. With Face to Face (2020) and First Trip to Bologna 1978 / Last Trip to Venice 1985 (2022), both published by Chose Commune, Our Pocketkamera 1985 will be the third one. A fourth book, By Christine 1978–1985, is already in the final stages of preparation. Item #26672