FRAGMENTS OF MEMORY
After many years, the war memories materialize into a striking portfolio which, through a special post-processing chemical treatment, makes this memory even more tormenting. The author, armed – against his will – with a gun in dramatic circumstances, prefers to shoot pictures with his inseparable camera hidden inside his jacket…
There are many ways to live a war. Assuming that the imperative for those who suffer is to survive, even in such conditions remains a strong desire not to remain spectators, but to react. Reacting and fighting in the name of hope and documenting with the camera in order to remember, or perhaps to help to forget.
Documenting this war, that’s what Robert Marnika did, winner of the photo festival FotoLeggendo 2006 in Rome.
His was unfortunately privileged under a certain point of view. He was not sent by some agencies, he was not a freelance hunting for scoops or sent by some non-profit organizations to document the crimes that come with every sort of conflict, Robert was there because that was simply his home, his life, and photography his passion, and if for various events he carried a rifle on a shoulder, on the other one he had a camera.
“Fragments of a memory ” is a work of analysis of his own past, probably necessary and useful in some way, either to help him not to forget the conflict and because those pictures, the snapshots of the war, were now too difficult to look in the original matrix : cold, merciless, didactic.
Giving new life to the memory, now become past, shouldn’t have been easy at all also in the process of making.
In particular, reflecting on a sentence of Marnika, when he describes the way of printing: “they are treatments made in post-production on fiber base paper with acids that I prepared by myself at home and I mixed with a brown toner. The process is also dangerous because these mixtures can produce toxic gases and often I use the gas mask. “