Start over. Reboot. Reawaken. Rehabilitate. Revitalize… Peppering the pages of Rosslyn Redux, these references to revival and new beginnings are woven intricately into the DNA of this peculiar project.
Juan Aballe opens Country Fictions up(as featured in Panorama,) by declaring that for years he has searched and imagined a “future in better places where we could start over.” His haunting photographs transport us to remote, rural “regions of the Iberian Peninsula.” Far from Essex, New York.
These words accompany his exhibition.
We leave the city behind travelling for miles and miles, driven by hopes and dreams.
We pursue a fiction, that of a peaceful rural life.
We search for beauty in a landscape where we do not belong,
where time seems to have stopped still.
We live our own transition, our fragile utopia,
trying to understand
what we are doing here and who we are.” Juan Aballe via Panorama
He was inspired, he explains, when friends began to exchange urban for countryside lifestyles. He wondered if under taking the same transition might catalyze for him a chance to start over: “a new life closer to nature.”
There is something universal perhaps in the rural utopian longing, the optimism that exiting a complex urban existence and germinating a fresh beginning in the bucolic countryside will permit us to start over. Then again, perhaps it is not universal. But it is familiar to me. We too longed for renewal, revitalization, a total reboot. That was 2004, 2005, 2006. That was 2004, 2005, 2006. A decade, and a half later we are still rebooting. Perhaps we have become addicted to starting over. Likely my passion for gardening and our appetite for architectural rehabilitation are proof that we live for renewal. Rehab ad infinitum…
Enclosing, I am grateful to Herbert Goetsch, for the dramatic photograph of a dandelion that gave birth to my image at the top of this post. You may find his original photograph here, and you may see his work on Unsplash and Alter Vista.
What do you think?