Conflict in the search for permanency
New Exposures Editor Julian Hammond Santander presents a California suspended between nostalgia and reality, accompanied by a selection from Krishnamurti.
Impermanency is exhilarating, terrifying. Change equally so. Sometimes, I think, the more you know something is going to change, the more you hold tight to it, knuckles white. Memories become the present, the past a glossy vision of the future. But this projection is a fantasy: The future is not waiting to be lived, but rather to be discovered. In this perpetual search for truth, reality, joy, a loyalty to the past is not honorable, but incarcerating. Truth exists only now, between us, in each moment.
As humans, we were intended to be with one another — to experience the sharing, mutating and clashing moments of energy within souls. As our lives become increasingly digital, the connections and moments that used to be exclusively visceral and physical become twisted and deformed. The closest I have come to capturing the feeling while keeping the reality is through photography. This collection of photos taken during my first return to my hometown after the pandemic is presented alongside selections from a 1934 speech by thinker Jiddu Krishnamurti as an introduction to some of the themes I intend to present as the new Exposures Editor.
“Each one tries to immortalize the product of environment; that thing which is the result of the environment we try to make eternal. That is, the various fears, hopes, longings, prejudices, likes, and personal views which we glorify as our temperament are, after all, the result, the product, of environment; and this bundle of memories, which is the result of environment, the product of reactions to environment, becomes that consciousness which we call the ‘I.’ Is that not so? The whole struggle is between the result of environment, [which the mind calls ‘I,’] between that and environment … The struggle takes place between that ‘I’ and the constantly changing environment …
“So this continual search in which each one of us is caught … the search for happiness, for truth, for reality, for health — this continual desire is cultivated by each one of us in [exchange for security, permanency.] And out of that search for permanency, there must be conflict … between the result of environment, that is, the ‘I,’ and the environment itself.
“Now if you come to think of it, what is the ‘I’? When you talk about ‘I,’ ‘mine,’ my house, my enjoyment, my wife, my child, my love, my temperament, what is that? It is nothing but the result of environment, and there is a conflict between that result, the ‘I,” and the environment itself. Conflict can only, and must inevitably, exist between the false and the false, not between truth and the false … There cannot be conflict between what is true and what is false. But there can be conflict and there must be conflict between two false things, between the degrees of falseness, between the opposites. ”
Ojai, California, June 16, 1934
Contact Julian Hammond Santander at [email protected]
Julian Hammond Santander is a queer Colombian-American artist, musician, photographer, writer, graphic designer and amateur fashion critic. They spend...