MARIE ALARCÓN

There is the mundane, there is the romantic, there is the unknowable, there is the familiar. It is foreign, it is the same.

A man shouts, “Welcome to Istanbul! Welcome to Hawaii! Welcome to the Caribbean!” I search the Grand Bazaar, looking for the quintessential, the archetypical, the reflexive moments, exploitable, subtle. I look for a way to look at myself, looking, consuming, exploiting. I find that I have a hard time seeing.

I wander the heavily touristed areas. I stare at the sky. I take photos of birds, water. I try to avoid the gaze of the city staring back at me. Although mostly it’s indifferent. I am barely a moment. I find comfort in peering out. From behind. Through. Always an obstruction to keep me from falling down, into, over.

Of two minds, I take the photos my father would love to see. All of the romance that is thwarted by life. I find complicated spaces with room for erasure. I refuse to obscure it all. I tell a joke, “My lens is so small.” I make myself laugh. I tell it again, a few times. So many times I forget it’s funny. It’s dead serious. It’s drained. It is my hand, it is always my hand. It could be your hand, but it’s most certainly mine.

Marie Alarcon

Istanbul

2013

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