Architecture of Cities: Walking Alone in Milan

It has been suggested that we should connect the dots from the past to the present: I suggest the present to the past:

When photography was new to me it was thrilling: I was never afraid but fearful of my curiosity: my camera was compelled to travel alone and peer down and across corridors: what was seen, never existed before that moment: my mind never had a story to tell until the eyes gazed upon the capture: what was not known became known when the shutter snapped.

My future is more exciting everyday forward than any day in my past.

My camera has become an encyclopedia of my history: and then there is always more.

Have  you ever walked among the shadows of the jungle: the silent jungle lets out a scream: what is heard is the life and light of photography about to be: A lone person walks into an inhabited town: Milan: La Scala, cathedrals, monuments, Mussolini and more wave frantically to be acknowledged. They are posers that my camera has little interest in: If a city was only that without what captures the imagination then what would it be.

A capture.

My feelings are interlocked in the details that captured my eyes before I blinked: nothing or nobody  can be as remote and alarming to my sensibilities as Conrad’s “Kurtz” in Heart of Darkness: why would any discovery of self and city have to stare alone into the blackness of our minds?  Maybe Plumpick in the “King of Hearts” film makes more sense to emulate: Some lunacy and confusion makes one ripe for new moments to be revealed.

When “aha” is bellowed from the rooftops the wonderment that steps before my eyes  begs to be illuminated: The questions and reasons of a photographer’s purpose poses before the camera: The romance mo f photography is offered: Instead of “I am Spartacus”, for a few seconds I am Plumpick: My camera is my King of Hearts: My mind is swimming in animated nightmares: Only today do I look back and know that my decades have been a dream. I dream as I think I capture images as I dream

A capture.

Oh. I’m sleeping under strange, strange skies
Just another mad, mad day on the road.

– Rolling Stones: Moonlight Mile

Quasimodo rings the bell: I constantly whisper to myself to listen for the signs, the vibrations: the electrical vibes that signal the brain to “look”:

I discover the city as if floating through an aquarium naked for only the fish to see: I glance into the exhibitions as if I am peering through windows of discoveries like Christmas on fifth avenue or a laboratory of one thousand petri dishes floating in a petrified forest: The make up of what the city has been and might become hide in plain sight: Intimacy is an underrated word: My lens has never been about the spectacle of the grandeur: The capture of the intimate designs of the grand and of the small has attracted my lens for most of many decades.

A capture.

I align my heart and lens with the songs of the whales of the seven seas: the currents carry the songs: We only know about the sounds if we listen: The sounds may travel great distances but they are intimate choruses that are heard by a few: It is how I reflect on my captures: They are part of cities universally: intimate images exist only if they are heard, captured.

Some things new will be old: They will live among treasures that I sometimes remember:

I dream of dancing naked among the whales to celebrate what my eyes may capture next.

All photographs by Richard Schulman.

Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.