It was my last trip before there where no trips anymore. Covid was already in the news when we hit an empty alley somewhere in the Ardennes. Ancient lanterns that make the wet cobblestones of a staircase shine in the rain, giving the scene something of „Sherlock Holmes chasing Jack the Ripper“.
But does a picture need narration, context, even a title? On Flickr, someone commented on the photo above that it captured the mood of the autumnal Ardennes town. That pleased me immensely, because that’s what I was after, translating the mood, the associations with movie scenes in my head.
Explanations can bear the peculiarity of not so much illuminating backgrounds as destroying associations. Personally, I feel this way about the photorealistic paintings of Simon Stalenhag, which I came across only recently in Tales from the Loop. In his books „The Electric State“ and „Tales from the Loop“ he writes story snippets that accompany and explain the imagery, but for me, that would not have been necessary. The atmosphere in his paintings, the riddles and fantasies they evoke, wouldn’t need any additional context. There are people who seek explanations, but for me it’s often about the film in my head, while at the same time movies can just work through their images, in some cases, even if the story isn’t that strong at all.
So here are, somewhat belatedly, pictures from my last nightly excursions in Bouillon and Liège. But it could also be somewhere else, another time. Outside it’s empty anyway, it’s April 2020. Time for some pictures of emptiness, rain, decay at a time of emptiness, rain, decay. And a text that I hope I could have spared myself.