“Nomadism is a call for new thinking about thinking: diverse, variable, unstable, full of contradictions and different dimensions that can be creatively used to build our own subjectivity, our own identity. This is the thinking in which differences enrich, and that which is different moves us.” Malgorzata Wilarska
Dedicated to a further exploration of the concept of nomadism in contemporary experience, London-based photographer Malgorzata Wilarska moves from a spatial investigation of the notion, towards a more personal take, through portraiture.
In her latest project, Nomadic Mind, the weight of the frame generally falls on the contrast between the apparent stillness and calm of the portraits and the actual storm of living, thinking, being in one´s mind. The restlessness of existing within the boundaries of a body, and constantly reaching to overcome these limits parallels the necessary patience, the tranquillity whose promise is to deliver wisdom and peace. The individual is a permanent nomad between the two, a simultaneous stranger to both these states, in their pure form.
Wilarska´s nomads come to a stand-still in front of her camera, halting any hasty thoughts, willingly interrupting their movements, allowing her to isolate glimpses in their appearance in what eventually ends up being a challenge to traditional ways of looking at and thinking of portrait photography: identity is not immediately revealed, questions of lineage, personal history, or status are not answered, space and time become secondary, allowing the subjects the freedom of their own contradictions, dreams, and expectations.
Words: Elena Stanciu
Photographer: Malgorzata Wilarska