25 years ago I woke up in a hospital with no memory of how I had gotten there. A Certain Distance is an ongoing series of images exploring the things I haven’t been able to say to anyone.
I repeatedly think that these aren’t the images I want to take. That if I was being honest I should be documenting my destroyed living room after having woken up on the floor with no memory at all, empty bottles strewn everywhere, overflowing ashtrays. Life now is often measured in the time between cigarettes. This was not the first time, nor the last, and maybe that is what made it so difficult.
That feeling that I should know better. It is so strange that even when things are completely broken we still try to hold on to the pieces. All those dangerously sharp shards of glass. I didn’t realize that in trying to hold things together, in desperately averting my gaze from what was happening right in front of me, I would make it even worse. That the distance I needed to maintain the fantasy would separate me entirely from the people I love. It is impossible to have a connection to someone who can’t connect.
The images in this series are in some ways fragmented. Lives that no longer exist and disjointed memories that can’t be trusted mix with now. The myth we perceive as ourselves. They are not the whole of the story but they are some of the pieces I am trying to make sense of. They exist in that contradictory space between what I know and what I feel. A close friend once told me to be careful; “do you want to know the truth or do you want to be happy?” I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had chosen happy. There is no one truth.
About Philip LePage
Philip LePage (1996 BA Art History) was born in 1969 in Northern Canada but left in 1994 and remained in Europe and Asia for 13 years. He currently lives on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Photography for Philip LePage is very centered on the contradictions inherent in ideas of home, identity and belonging. He thinks of photography as a journey between two worlds. A middle ground that separates and joins at the same time, a liminal space. That the act of photographing can expose new realms of possibility. Communication is a dialogue. It is not static and allows for misunderstandings, surprising twists, leaps of faith and unforeseen connections. [Official Website]
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