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Visual Essays

Vol. 6 No. 1 (2021): Visual Spaces of Change: photographic documentation of environmental transformations

Eye on Time

  • Michael Ruetz



“Time is the author of Authors” - Francis Bacon

EN ROUTE TO THE LAST DAY The picture of the Hydra is a metaphor of time. The Hydra never stops growing. Like time, it is immortal, it is forever there - although nobody knows exactly where time is to be found. Time cannot even be stopped by Hercules. Each photograph is an attempt to stop the Hydra growing. It is an attempt to bring time to a sudden stop, to fix it forever, to speed it up or finish it off - somehow to grasp it. These attempts reveal nothing but our impotence. The Hydra grows, unwavering. Time remains unimpressed and marches on. Our efforts do frustrate us. At the same time, we base of all our hopes on influencing the march of time. Time is an invisible power dragging all of us along. Time is a plague for which there is no cure. Time is a scourge which we can’t stop lashing us.

The TIMESCAPE-project, being a by-product of time, will reach its end exactly when the scourge of time is over - at the latest on the Last Day. Thus, the project will remain unfinished and in flux, both young and seasoned – always ‘fitter for new projects than for settled business’, as Bacon said of youth. Time is the raw material of the TIMESCAPE images. Time is their only component. TIMESCAPE deals with time and nothing else.