Point of no return

Ana Leal


This series of photographs entitled “Point of no return” is the result of an intense investigation into two distinct and overlapping realms: on one hand, the exploration of mysterious, forgotten and abandoned places in Maine, USA; on the other hand, an internal immersion into a condition of melancholy and sorrow. I was irresistibly drawn to these non-sites, liminal places that look like ruins frozen in time. I decided to depict the details, the ordinary and banal elements, and the strange compositions that I found upon entering these derelict properties. What I found, however, was more than this. I was confronted with the eternal decay of time that is impregnated in the inanimate objects that have been left behind like unwanted reminders of a distant time, of another life. Furthermore, I realized that I was trying to capture more than the decline of a house, of a room, of a thing – this series is an attempt to capture a state of suspension, a melancholic atmosphere in which time stops and the present fades away. 

Some of the photographs in the series reveal found scenarios, uncanny situations unaltered by me – pictures on the floor, chairs hanging from the ceiling, broken mirrors, ancient lamps. Others transpire my interest in interstices, slivers of light, narrow points of view. When brought together, they compose a portrait of the solitude of all the songs that you can't hear, all the colors you can't see, and all the words you can't pronounce, embodying solitude and emptiness. The last photograph in the series is a self-portrait, the sole visible human presence in the series, inserted amidst uninhabited places that incarnate the idea of absence through only the presence of slowly declining vestiges. 

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  • Look inside

  • Through the window

  • Me

  • Memorabilia

  • Memories

  • Left behind

  • Running away

  • The sofa

  • Cracked

  • Chaotic