To Un-Become by Vitalis Neufeld in collaboration with Saša Rajšić
To Un-Become is a multimedia project based on Saša Rajšić’s journey from his family’s ﬁrst refugee house in Serbia to their former home in Croatia. He followed the same route hundreds of thousands of other people took over two decades ago during Operation Storm.Homes in ruins and their collapsing walls can still be found in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. [spacer height=”20px”]These images both evoked a stream of suppressed memories and emotions and inspired elaborate visions that would otherwise have remained unprovoked. This journey merged the evidence of war with Rajšić’s own memories, both actual and constructed, creating a an expressive, profound, and mystical visual language. My main challenge as a photographer was to use this language while remaining respectful and careful not to over stay our welcome and abrupt the spirits of abandon places.
Rajšić decided to walk not to test his own stamina, but rather to surrender the experience to the will of nature. He tasked himself not to merely move between two points, but to temporarily adopt a way of being in which both facts and imagination merged. For me this meant working in unusually harsh weather while barely communicating with the artist. Our interaction became an exercise in intuition and trust.
To Un-Become lurches between historic reminder and hallucination, between geographical document and unreliable childhood memory, between collective tragedy and personal healing.
Vitalis Neufeld is a Berlin based photographer whose work captures beauty and fragility of his subjects. He bases his work on personal experiences, cultural diversity, time, and the way past and present impact each other.