なんでも、ラテン語の 「ombra/陰」に由来しており、接頭語の “pen-” は「ほぼ」とか「周辺」という意味から成り、転じて美術用語などで「あいまいな境界線」という意味で使われることがあるそうだ。写真を撮るときに限らず、いつも感じる様々な “ふたつのこと”。何かと何かの間に挟まれているのが、自分であり、カメラでもある。この、真ん中に位置する私(カメラ)の、なんと曖昧なことかと思う。何かを見るという行為は、同時に、何かを見ていない。目に映るものを無意識に取捨選択している私たちは、そこで選択されなかった対象に挟まれて生きている。その境界にいる自分。まるでそこだけがクリアなラインを保っているように錯覚するけれども、ほんとうは最も浮遊した部分なのだと感じる。そうして撮る写真もまた、曖昧な平面だと感じる。
As I look at photographs, what comes to my mind is always the same. “What is that’s not there? What is that the photographer chose to omit?” Thinking about these things helps me to see the photographs a little bit more precisely. The next thing I consider is that we live surrounded by the enormous number of things that we did not choose, as opposed to things that we did. How is it that we don’t see / choose them? This is exactly how we reach the point of seeing / choosing, by permission and not through refusal. In astronomical terms, penumbra is the partial shadow that we can observe during a lunar or solar eclipse. I understand it originates from the Latin word “ombra” meaning “shadow” with the prefix of “pen-“ which means “almost” or “on the periphery”. On the other hand, the word is used in the sense of a “ vague boundary line” in artistic terminology. I the act of looking at things, we -simultaneously- don’t see others. We are caught between the things that we openly choose to see or not to see as we unconsciously shift through what enters our eyes.
I am there on that boundary. As I’m caught between these two parts, I am myself, and also the camera. What vagueness it is to be placed there in the middle.