In the beginning of 2010 I read a book by Dutch writer & philosopher Joke Hermsen called 'Stil de tijd - pleidooi voor een langzame toekomst' (‘Still the time - plea for a slow future’).
Amongst the essays about time and how we experience it, there is one about German philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885-1977). He wondered what motivates people in life. Briefly summarized he said people strive for Utopia, which we will never reach, but pursuing this is what life is about, what makes us go, what makes us want to move forward. And although we never reach it, every now and then we can catch a glimpse of this Utopia. For instance when we hear music, relive a memory, smell something, are in love, are in ‘a flow’. In these moments we forget all about linear time but experience time in our own, subjective way. At these moments, he claims, we can experience true happiness. Therefore we have to aim for these moments. Bloch’s motto is not ‘Carpe Diem’, but 'Carpe aeternitatum in momenti': ‘seize eternity in the moment’.
When I read that, I realized I'm always trying to do this, I just hadn't found the words to describe it yet.
Ever since, I have continued to explore this theme in my photos and videos, and in my personal life as well.
Hello, my name is Willemijn van Poppel and I live in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I take photographs and make small films. Moments, places, things from my everyday surroundings; I always have a camera with me to register them. I do this to continuously train myself in 'looking', in staying aware of things that are very ordinary for everyone. But that if you look a little longer, do have something special. I hope that after you see my work you will look at your surroundings in a more aware way.
Or as Marcel Proust says: ‘The only true voyage of discovery is not to go to new places, but to have new eyes’.