What is a flaneur and what is it's role in a our modern day life. The traditional definition for a flaneur is one who strolls, explores and observes in a urban landscape without a destination. A word that I found described the action I took while on the road. At this moment in time it is evident that our lives are getting busier and more absorbed by modern technology. Becoming more distracted and less focus on what surrounds us on a given moment. I feel most of us walk around with our heads down, merely skimming the surface and grabbing fractions of each experience. I can only feel that the importance to taking time out to be more attentive is necessary one. That incorporating the role of a flaneur into one's life could only bring benefits.
To me a flaneur is about being a visual witness. Taking time to observe life. Becoming in tune with all your senses. It is about awareness and capturing moments in the present. It is getting out there and exploring, wandering, without limitations, boundaries or a plan. It is about seeing well and being a witness to the people you cross paths with, the spaces you encompass, the places you travel. It's not about just catching the surface but going deeper and unraveling the layers. Seeing different perspectives. Being a flaneur is not about following to be followed. It’s about creating your own path and trusting it. It's not about second guessing the moment or adding a dialogue to it but embracing it for what it is. As a flaneur, at times you may walk solo, and can be the only one to believe in that path, and other times, you will feel part of the crowd, completely immersed, celebrated and supported. Both are good and different and have their time. The importance is to keep putting yourself out there. As it's your vision, and expression alone. As Nina Simone said"As artist it's our duty to reflect the times". I hope as a photographer I can do just that. To be attentive enough and react without hesitation to capture life.
My newest body of work brings a focus as a flaneur in the country of Cuba. Traveling there for a month at a time, has given me a chance to fully immerse myself into the culture and their daily settings. Over time, finding my natural flow of being the silent observer and being completely connected with the people and the experience. Completely smitten and inspired from the beginning, I quickly fell in love with it's beauty, contrasts and complexities. As artist, I have never been visually bored as there has never been a lack of subject matter. The streets are always alive and bustling with people and the interiors and exteriors reveal layers of rich history and stories. The people that you meet on the streets don't seem to be preoccupied by their busy lives but living them in the present moment. As they have no choice but to do so. Capturing portraits seems easier and more candid. There is a real tangible sense of authenticity
CUBA -Through the eyes of a flaneur is an accumulation of these moments captured through photography and painting. Recently exhibited in Montreal, Quebec, it gets ready to hit the road and travel back to the place that inspired it all. In November, follow my journey as I present and exhibit my work in Cuba. Taking time once again to hit the streets to observe, explore and create.
Details for the opening of the exhibition are still being sorted out. Please stop into the Bonito Ortiz Borrell in Trinidad, Cuba to get information.