These Locks of Love were fixed on the railing of one of the many bridges over the hundreds of canals in Venice near the Rialto Bridge. These padlocks are fixed by couples in love, on to a fence or a pole or metallic chain/string at a usually romantic and popular public place, to symbolize their eternal love. A couple would hang a padlock after inscribing their name or initials on it and throw the key away so that their love is locked forever. Some couple use two inter-twined locks, each lock bearing their name/initials. Besides lovers, often family members and close friends also put such locks at these places, to lock their relationship forever. The tradition probably originated from China where the love locks can be seen at several locations alongside the Great Wall of China and also in many temples and on the steps/paths leading to sacred peaks. Locks of love… Connected to each other for all eternity…
Matthias Haker’s ‘Decay’ series chooses to focus on the rare beauty of decrepit spaces. The German born photographer is a media computer science student who began taking pictures in 2008. He has since developed an expansive portfolio with images of landscapes, weddings, people, urban activity and architecture.
Peeling, rusted ceilings and chipped floors laden with sawdust prove to be quite alluring. The abandoned scenes were once occupied by families, health practices and students, evidenced by the moldy cribs and dental chairs.
While the rooms have long since been used, they have still managed to retain their charm. The Decay project proves that there is relevancy in even the most neglected of buildings, seen here in the magnificent colors, winding staircases, record players and collectible vintage furniture.
While these dilapidated spaces bring on a sense of melancholy in the viewer, Haker’s pictures have also brought out their haunting beauty—despite the peeling paint and debris-strewn floors, the former grandeur of these buildings remains very evident.
Many of these abandoned sites feature magnificent details like beautifully painted walls, ornate stairways and embellished domed ceilings—it makes one wonder why they were forsaken in the first place.
“I like to look for things no one else catches.” Amélie Poulain
Amélie, the movie, is a celebration of details and small pleasures. They are sprinkled throughout the narrative like potent seasoning. They make up the common thread that weaves the story’s characters together in a single tapestry. Upon first encountering a character they are defined by the narrator in terms of their likes and dislikes, which is followed by a captivating, unpredictable list. The kind that makes you the target of a random smile in search of a face, directed at some ineffable delight. A list that is brief, particular and wonderfully distinctive. Do you remember too???
“On the other hand, she enjoys all sorts of little pleasures, putting her hand in a bag of seeds, piercing the crust of crème brûlée with the tip of a spoon, and plays ducks and drakes on the Saint-Martin-Canal.
Sometimes, Amélie goes to the movies. ‘I like to turn around in the dark to see the faces of the people around. And I also like to spot the little detail nobody will ever see. But I hate the way drivers never look at the road in old American movies.”
The world of little things can pull you into its orbit as easily as a dust buster would a speck of dust. It’s likely to reprogram you to read far more into things than you thought yourself capable of, by surrendering the reins of life to imagination. As John Guare wrote in Six Degrees of Separation, “I believe the imagination is the passport that we create to help take us into the real world. I believe that imagination is merely another phrase for what is most uniquely us. “
This got me thinking about those odd little things that I like and dislike. I did not want to focus on general annoyances and irritations (of which I have a lot), but instead wanted to figure out some particularly unique things that get to me in either a positive or a negative way. So here it goes Amélie Poulain style:
“Fruzsina is a hopeful writer, a tamer of cats, and an acrobat of endless ideas, who dreams her way through life with eyes open wide. She vehemently dislikes price stickers that are not easy to remove, when people lean against a subway car pole as if it were private property, and to see strands of hair on or hanging from people’s clothes. She likes to dig her toes into warm beach sand and when a few notes in a song give you goose bumps that make all hairs stand on your arms. She likes to imagine a soundtrack playing while he walks down the street and noticing spelling mistakes in all possible form of print that has slipped through the scrutinizing gaze of copy editors and proofreaders.”