|These people become my mirrors; my way of showing those parts of me I’m trying to keep hidden. My insecurities, dreams and longings. My happiness and sorrows, victories and downfalls. My loneliness. – Margaret M. de Lange|
Sometimes we feel alone, even when we are surrounded by other people. It is perhaps during these moments that we try hardest to conceal our feelings. Taking photographs is about challenging yourself, about daring to remain in a room to capture what happens when everyone else has left. Margaret M de Lange is a photographer who stays behind. She judges no one, and embraces the experience.
During a period of three years de Lange photographed family, friends, acquaintances, and people she met in cafes or at parties. She photographed at random, without thinking, spontaneously documenting her surroundings. The people depicted in de Lange’s photographs construct her self-portrait and reflect her own thoughts about loneliness. These subjective images provoke intense responses within the viewer. We witness one individual’s dark side, the catharsis of a photographer as well as those she depicts.
The Finnish photographer Arno Rafael Minikkinen writes in the foreword to her book:
“Scars and stitches, moles and blows, noses that bleed like leaky faucets, faces that cars could have run over, stare out from a world no one is allowed to see. For we all are, in fact, surrounded by no one. The face, our face, is our very own. Surrounded by no one is a brave and beautiful landmark to use as a moral compass, a book depicting a hard life as seen through the vision of a photographer who seems to embrace it all and judge none.”
Finding answers to the questions de Lange’s photographs raise is impossible. We know very little about why she photographs. What remains is a world of images, which we may reflect upon and compare to our own experiences.