Walking Tour by Nathaniel Axel

villa-lena, tuscany, italy, toiano, palaia, bed, bedroom, bedsheet, bedsheets, desk, window, floor, tiles, natural-light, day-light
For as long as I’ve had a studio practice, I’ve been taking notes towards a book. It’s not fiction exactly, but a story is at the heart of it. The narrative has been revealing itself in small increments, fragments, appearing only intermittently, albeit consistently, for most of my adult life. Over the course of my time at Villa Lena I found myself encountering a number of these fragments in the real world. They were small things, but uncannily precise.
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I spent a lot of time walking. I kept a diary. I’m not a photographer, but I took a lot of pictures. It was all autobiography, although I tried to imagine myself as other people too. Sometimes these were potential characters for the book, and sometimes their identities were more abstract. The documentation was an attempt to clarify where I was and what I was doing, and what these things suggested more generally about who I am.
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The older I get the less of a sense of consistent identity I possess. When I picture the vector of my life, I see a single consciousness moving through a series of different selves. My ability to make work, and the fundamental drive to make work in the first place, is inextricably linked to how I understand myself at any given moment. Work both opens and reflects, like a one-way mirror onto self.

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What meant something yesterday is meaningless today. There are so many words I’ve said, so many people I’ve met, so many things I’ve seen, that I cannot recollect at all. I forget who I am by trying to remember who I want to be.
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