Trains are his everyday life, i.e. the express and stopping trains that take Him to a specific destination. it is a computer and a phone which serve Him to track HER and others, but most importantly HER. it is a city with all its people and their affairs that need to be overcome or avoided in order to finally see HER. and, in order not to run out of strength and determination, He has to find a new, minor obsession every day to be able to finally return to HER and see HER in yet a different and real way.
– written by Marcin Włodarski
The “express/stopping” project (“pośpieszne/osobowe”) is a collection of individual photographs taken between 2010 and 2014, describing monotonous one-way journeys in the never-changing direction, with His arms being the last stop.
This is an attempt to visualize a strong connection and a reciprocal fascination between two people whose everyday life is dominated by longing for the other half’s presence, endless telephone conversations, building trust and also the restrictions imposed by the distance of 398 kilometres (247 miles).
This is also a subjective record of events taking place in different seasons of the year, including what can be seen from a train’s window, the perspective of a woman who wants to stay in these moments and the need to document that these moments were real. It is a tangible billing of meetings, a proof of their existence, brief glimpses and a desire to remember the moments that are fleeting as fast as the blink of an eye. It is a journal of the returns. A repeated pattern of a record of intensive meetings which, although they are somewhat repetitive, are different from each other – each of them is unique.
The best things in life are free, if you don’t count the money spent on a train ticket. It isn’t much – three cigarette packets, a bottle of wine or even a few doughnuts with a bar of chocolate (you know very well that I love sweets, like a child). I’m thinking about it all as I’m standing by the counter when, suddenly, I realize that they raised prices and we are, yet again, further away from each other. Now I’m short of a pound and this is exactly how much I happen to find in my pocket. I have the ticket but no more pennies. Hence the conclusion: my love for You is not subject to change.
[January 6, 2002]
I think it was September and it was already cold between us. That drunk, humid summer was fading right in front of our eyes like the light of a forgotten cigarette in a black ashtray. And a little later: the city, the rain, the nearing midnight and the empty platform three. Not a guardian angel in sight who could help us change the direction by at least two words. There was less and less harmony in the rhythm of our breathing. The silence was suffocating. You and me. The both of us.
With no chance of salvation.
[March 3, 2002]
6:49 p.m., looking at the pavement
Evening. It’s getting grey. The surroundings are flattening. I’m standing on the sidewalk and I’m letting myself swathe in the warm humidity of darkness. I’m thinking about our breakup. I feel like I’m looking at a blurred photograph: no contours, no edges, and no borders. Not a line as thin as a razor blade cut on the skin. Then I suddenly realize that everything ends at some point, but it does not always
have any kind of ending.
[July 12-17, 2000]
new phone tariff
We are so lucky to live in a world where distances are no longer a problem. Do you remember when I confessed my love to you? I texted you, then were emailing each other. And now, although we are sixty miles apart, we enjoy cheap calls. Fortune smiled upon us when we found out that our numbers belong to the same service provider and there were no formal obstacles to recognize our choice. Everything became simpler, like the simplified bill which I have kept ever since.
“There are no perfect relationships” is what I always repeat to myself when you are temporarily unavailable or out of coverage area. We must both strongly believe that the interruptions are only temporary and for reasons beyond our control. It is important not to forget about regular payments, which, by the way, are not so small. But on the other hand, no price seems too high when I jump out of my bed in the middle of the night and then fall asleep again, feeling the soothing closeness of the soft shapes of my phone.
[July 12-17, 2000]
the promised land
The rhythm of our meetings is as steady as the clatter of train wheels that is also determined by timetables – the two boards. They are the law that we must obey. The grey-bearded stationmaster – Moses – is looking at us reproachfully. And all we have to do is wait for the Promised Land. This is what we have left.
[July 18, 2000]
elbląg to the main station in gdynia, 7:50 p.m.
You and nothing but you, just a moment ago. I can still feel your distinct taste on my lips when, all of a sudden, the glowing sphere of Gdańsk is approaching from the darkness outside the train window and a man who was sitting next to me wakes up. He was supposed to get off the train in Tczew, just like me. Nobody can save us now.
[October 13, 2000]
The photographs are accompanied by selected texts (written by Piotr Czerski) which give more detail to the attempt to describe this individual story which is, however, similar to those of many others. The title refers to trains, whose compartments are in a way inhabited by people during the repetitive and long journeys, of which the path is known by heart.
Agnieszka Lepka (born in 1991), the daughter of Mirosława and Andrzej. A graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Zielona Góra (OSSP w Zielonej Górze).
For a few years now I have been living in a voivodeship where people refer to the word “outside” differently than in the rest of the country (“na pole” instead of “na dwór”). On a daily basis, I am distracted from routine and making the observations of everyday life by co-creating the “nie/codzienna” series on the Róbmy Dobrze website. I often say that photography is my second fiancé. I am becoming more and more conscious but I am still developing and getting closer to knowing myself by trying to give form to my own searching. I intend to undertake studies on image registration in the future. I feel a lot more familiar with photosensitive material because of the appreciation I have for it. It has a much greater impact on the way you think about positioning and cropping.
Last year was a turning point for me because it gave me confidence. I started to like my name, I came out of hiding, I stopped creating under a pseudonym and was not anonymous anymore. There is no doubt that the honourable mention given at the TIFF Festival, publications and workshops for Sputnik Photos gave me wings. These are the reasons why I am more and more open to photography, which I focus on and display on the blog -> http://cargocollective.com/lepkie.
I prefer horizontal, usually central frames, which leave a lot of space. I often mix the character with a dirty, unevident environment.
I am on Instagram -> https://www.instagram.com/agu.lepkie/.
P. Czerski, Pospieszne, osobowe, Ha!art, Kraków, 2002, p. 10, 13, 16, 19, 24, 25.