The series “Escape Traces” by Tilman Brembs tells the story of the people who are not seen, but only their tracks – the only traces that remind of the fugitives after they have long left the coast of Assos on their way to Greece. For them, fleeing the wars and crises in their home countries to Europe, the ancient city in western Turkey is only a short stopover on the perilous journey into the unknown. On rafts they set sail. The next destination: the Greek island of Lesbos. Although it is only seven kilometers south of Assos, but for the travelers the passage over the sea is just as dangerous as it is unsafe.
What they left behind on the beaches of Assos – had to leave – covers the sand, the coast and the slopes. Just like their former owners these things have gone a long way, but unlike them their journey has already found its end in Assos. These objects are now momentous traces, subtle, metaphorical references that tell in different ways the same story: that of their absent speakers, the wars, losses, fear and threats that are so great these people had to flee. These traces of flight which suddenly assume the shape of objects trouvés without their owners, still remain snapshots, but refer insistently to the history of people who have passed Assos, to the before and the after.
Humans leave traces on his way, metaphorically and essentially, many traces, in Tilman Brembs series “Escape Traces“ they are the subtle ones, which are left by uncleared objects and stimulate reflection as Roland Barthes’ already said: “Ultimately, PHOTOGRAPHY is not subversive when it shocks, provokes or even stigmatizes, but if it makes you reflect.”
All images taken in Assos, August, 2015.