Distagon View

(A view through 9 elements)

Equal, no judgement, impartial. Nine pieces of glass, an aperture, two shutters and silver halide that will only see the light of day for about 1/250th of a second.

12 frames, 12 chances, 12 hopes – 12 square views of this world. Two flags to white.

This world is a mirror of reality. Everything is back to front down a groundglass that never perceives but only witnesses. But is this reality back to front?

The deserted Scarborough Road but the fragile light of people past penetrating my mind, my thoughts. Voices scattering but unheard on the mute film that only registers a scene.

A burnt down fence with the abandoned children’s toy grinning at me through the conflagration. Voices – children’s laughter, the warm embrace of a parent now cast to the ashes, the Phoenix gone.

A dog meanders down a lane, worriedly he looks behind to see the Distagon stealing a fraction of his light. Reality diverges as dog walks crookedly down the opposite road, the film compartmentalised in the dark.

Fallen autumn leaves lie as yellow tears shed from the trees in mourning of the past summer, winter approaches with a familiar icy grip in the air. A street cleaner brushes the raw grief away with uncertainty.

The stoic terraces, row upon row, street upon street unerringly and unsympathetically paint the constant reality of what seems the forever and the inescapable.

Many other eyes stare inquisitively but the Distagon never answers. It’s grey aperture narrows occasionally to judge the depth of its surroundings. Done silently while others narrow their eyes judging the Distagon. Why? Who?

The old cigarette factory sleeps with shuttered, tired, heavy eyelids for shuttered doors, seemingly comatosed from a nightmare. They will never open again.

Venomous shouting in the next street, fury, hatred, envy and anger boil over in the soundscape yet all the Distagon sees is another overflowing bin, spewing its contents like the vitriolic exchange not more than a few feet away.

Without emotion, it registers the broken, smashed up television somewhat maternally swathed in videotape, destroyed, unwanted and soon to be forgotten.

The lonely alleyway is punctuated with some teenagers who blur to nothing. They walk quickly with intent, purpose but they pass through whimsically, carefree, concentrating on the ground underneath them. It is cruel and hard.

These streets only hold memories now for people no longer amble. These streets hold phantoms of people who thrive but are forgotten.

As the sun sets behind the new church, a red flag appears. 12 frames, 12 chances, 12 hopes – 12 square views of this world now chemically committed to eternity.

Nine pieces of glass, an aperture, two shutters and Silver Halide that has seen the light of day for about 1/250th of a second.

This is the Distagon’s View.

Jonathan Bradley