Past Imperfect (Ongoing)
In 2007 I chose to move to Moscow.
I developed a fascination for a country with a past that was so alien to my own but still very much evident on almost every street, in the architecture, the transport and the street furniture.
I set about recording my stay on a selection of old Soviet film cameras, many of which where copies of equipment that had been available in the west but unobtainable on this side of the Iron Curtain, Kiev and Fed being examples, agricultural but serviceable takes on the likes of Hasselblad and Leica.
I already owned another Russian staple, the Lomo LC-A which I’d bought new in Manchester of all places, this too was put to use, recording what I could of its spiritual homeland.
Film stock where possible was old emulsions from former communist countries, if I couldn’t find this I used newer stock from these same countries, films such as Shanghai from China and Foma from the Czech Republic.
Sadly many of my negatives from this time were lost or damaged when I returned to Paris, as was 100% my digital work, but I’m sharing here what I managed to save, and may return some day to complete this project.
I grew up in the age of Mods & Rockers, the sound of two stroke powered machines zipping up and down the streets of my childhood was a constant background noise, the scent of burning oil hung in the air.
At the age of 11 I acquired my first scooter, a battered Lambretta LD I found on a rubbish tip when exploring with friends, back in the days before Health & Safety and environmental concerns did away with the local dump.
Surprisingly with a little pushing it burst into life and we spent a few weeks in the summer of 73 racing it up and down the alleyways of inner city Manchester only to discard it when school term began again.
The love of these little machines stayed with me however and 5 years later I bought one of my own, a Vespa 50 special, the first of many scooters I have owned over the past 4 decades, in fact with only a couple of very short breaks I haven’t been without one since.
This project is my homage to a life long love.