Norway, August 2016

Photons and phonies


or a few days, I’ve been struggling ahead, through fjords and arctic archipels, and have reached Tromsø, then Senja Island, and the Vesterålen islands, in a end of a season that seem to quickly deteriorate the climate. Abundant rains, freezing winds, low and misty sky, dropping temperatures, serious climbs, late sun at the end of the day, soaked wet clothes and shoes in the early morning, and sometimes, closed tunnel, before which it is impossible to convince the staff of letting the poor little frozen footbike to roll on.

Yet, this winterish autumn that has already repelled a good bunch of tourists, still offers a whole array of hypnotic atmospheres: stiff cliffs and mountains overhanging exceptional bays with their golden sand beaches, tiny groups of colored wooden houses, motionless fishermen hamlets bathed in the fogs, lost cabins in the toundra, rowing boat shelters with rolling doors, half standing in the water. Sumber and menacing peaks, ocean inserted with white foams, marine lagunes and translucide lakes under a cobalt sky, when the enormous clouds have been pushed away.

Fauna is having a great time, every type of volatiles, brown, white, silver, with lively yellows flashes and lightened eyes let themselves be driven in the currents of air, suddenly rise from behind bushes, plunge on the water surface in a strike of feathers.

The biggest predator of all is without contest here the image hunter, adventurer type. At a time when wither the procession of fitted out caravans, stuffed with brats, graduated youth or retired people lacking thrilling disorientation, it’s the turn of a specimen proliferating in those prized barren lands and on small liaison ferry boats, to patrol the surroundings: equipped with his telephoto lens (the longer the better), with his Great North Safari electronic stuff, and if possible, a kaki jeep or sable, displaying a show-off number of stickers from over the world and a disguised roof-tent in a war reportage fashion, the alpha male, sometimes equipped too with a female studying the touring books or maps, or a good team of noisy fellows, is swarming without complex and strongly diffuses the pheromones of the great adventurous shiver with all mod cons.

How, on an embarcation shake by the swell, from which the horizon seem to have fun in tumbling down and get back up so quickly, on the slippy deck waves dispersing their curtains of glacial droplets, embarcation carrying resolutely though in its secret stomach the gleaming off-road cars, as well as, attached with a thin cord at the front, a kick scooter charged as a mule, about wich I wonder during all the crossing if it will not overturn at each rolling; how, as I stand in the common area, that is for me the heated space I’ve been waiting for for two days, specially after a last night without sleep, in the tempest and invading water, when eventually it’s a many months fatigue which knocks me out and leaves me KO on the seat, how not to feel an abyssal gulf separating me and my seated neighbours, who rushed to plug in four devices on a multi-multi-multi socket extracted from the multi-multi-multi compartiments waterproof bag (I did plug one device); how not to loose oneself in vindications, before what seems a pillaging of something, with a snobbism that does not have much to do with the cosmopolitan eloquence of the great reporters and adventurers from passed centuries (and better if this is a fantasy!), at the same time that in this precise moment, I envy this comfort and easiness, but I secretly bear as a fragile gleamer the pride of having reached those places by the sole sweat of my brow, fighting through ordeals (of courses small compared to what can be experienced), this conviction that an essential difference rests here, regarding our ways of encountering the world, our fabric of images as a survival to death (imago – portrait of the dead!), our smithy of representation, as much as in what we leave behind, our wakes, one hardly trying to keep mesure of acts and gain wisdom from it, others appearing weighted down and dark, already a foot beyond a disaster that never seem like one, one the quasi-motorized finger trigger the hysterical slam of the diaphragm opening as much as it can, and captures forever, for the pleasure-seeker eye of a price increasing spectator, browsing carelessly his favorite journal or walking in an art gallery, a few photons on a back pellicule.

Big predator, what see you there, from behind your collimator, it is not, dissimulated in the meerschaum of the tide, the fugitive brightness of your own treachery!