- What is a presence?
The dictionary reads: “The state or fact of existing, occurring or being present“, but that’s little revealing. A presence is a sensible and objective condition (hence you can photograph it), occasionally lasting for a long time (in rare cases for the whole life), more often limited to few, ephemeral circumstances. Anyone can be a presence, anyone can run into one. A presence can be a single individual in a crowd, but it can also be the very crowd. Or perhaps there's no crowd.
- What is not a presence?
A presence does not represent a particular person and is never a "portrait": presences have no identity. A presence does't tell a story: presences have no history. A presence doesn't define a fact, it doesn't show "what happens" but rather what would have never happened hadn’t someone taken its effect.
- Where are the presences to be found?
They are frequenters of the unusual, especially in cities, but not only: a presence can occur anywhere. It is therefore sufficient to go to an unusual place or to an usual place but at an unusual time or even to behave in an unusual way, to run, most certainly, into a presence.
- How are they photographed?
Presences are such due to extremely fragile equilibria. Irritable and timid, nothing annoys a presence and makes it proclive to disappear as much as a camera. It is therefore necessary, almost always, to steal the image of a presence; sometimes it is necessary to make it believe you yourself are a presence (sometimes you really are) and that the object you're holding in your hands is not what it seems.
- How much time does one have?
Very little. Despite its very definition, a presence is the closest thing to an absence and it appears and disappears with identical probability and speed. One needs to be ready.
- What else?
It's not frequent, but presences are also manifested in the form of inanimate places or objects. Apparently inanimate. Our perception is in fact capable of performing the prodigy of animating things, transforming them into presences. A presence-object does not have a will of its own, hence it is not hostile towards cameras; photographing them is therefore easier. Apparently easier. Almost always, in fact, observing the result, you will no longer see the presence-object, but just the object.
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