Evgeny Nesterov about "Instant Tomorrow" project


Instant Tomorrow на выставке Power and Architecture в галерее Calvert 22 London

At the end of far-off, almost mythical eighties, the song called 'Tomorrow Never Comes’ appeared, a product of a popular in a narrow circle band “Durutti Column”. 
I do not remember what it was about, something extravagantly lyrical. And I find it hard to recover its musical qualities, even though it certainly had them. But, from time to time, the title continues to pop up in various contexts. And with each new appearance it makes an eerie feeling of being somehow encapsulated, of a life sentence in an instant "now", ever more tangible.

In this endless, thoroughly overwhelming nanosecond of The Present an impenetrable and relentless ‘tomorrow' finds its form. A nanosecond later, this fresh and almost foreign substantiality, strange smells, unfamiliar sounds become part of memory; and, eventually, if they are stable enough, a permanent part of mnemonic landscape.

‘New’ is not always immediately recognizable as occurred future. Some temporal distance must be traversed before a continuously leaking 'tomorrow' will be seen and realized as an irreversible fact, as a unique category that has no precedence. This distance depends on a number of factors. Among them - the place: in a godforsaken, sufficiently autonomous village or in a small, conservative European town this awareness might crystallize considerably later than in a detention camp maze of freshly sprouted chunks of suburbia, where its anonymous denizens return after three-hours commute only to crush into uneasy sleep. (Unless, of course, the village has found itself in crosshair of the stomping progress and is sentenced to demolition for the next project of the century. Then the appreciation of the brand new day might come quite swiftly.) Well, and naturally, alertness, reactivity and articulacy of an individual observer are very, if not the most, significant constituents of the recognition process, its speed, comprehension and accuracy.

Association between 'Tomorrow Never Comes' and 'Instant Tomorrow' is pretty much on the surface.

But besides obvious verbal coincidences, between two 'tomorrows' might be some more delicate relations .

'Instant tomorrow' - while being a demonstrably photographic project, almost overstating a specific to photography pretention to be a detached record of an optical event - gets very close to the membrane, to the moment, where longed-for, frightening, intangible future turns tactile, available, and often aggressive.

It nearly approaches that unbearable 'tomorrow that never comes' and fixes a striking event, when one does not need to guess anymore, when full of threats and promises, never attainable 'future day' instantly turns into a microwaved can of "one-minute noodles" on cold plastic of a kitchen table, when it morphs itself into superhuman hollows of sleeping ‘arrondissements’.

We can talk a lot and cut intricate loops and circles around possible different qualities of this inevitable 'tomorrow'. But our habitual, Cartesian ways of analysis are fairly dull, redundant and ineffective by now; especially, when they are applied to something unprecedented, barely formed or which is only acquiring its aggregate properties. It also does not seem to be the right place to wax for long over poetic and lyrical aspect of the project – they are deliberately aloof and reserved, but quite rich, nevertheless.

Perhaps, it shouldn’t be attempted at all, considering today's incredible scatter and fragmentation of opinions, modes of perception, analytical and discursive clichés.

Each viewer will find in a sterile 'Instant Tomorrow' an echo of his or her unique expectations of never coming possible and impossible futures. Or will not.

Evgeniy Nesterov - photographer, philologist, tutor