Jenny Papalexandris














The thirty-hour train journey induces deep reverie. The passing images propel an odd state of mind. The very concept of ‘yonder’ as ‘something within sight but not near’ becomes a metaphor for a destination that is unattainable. We see in the melancholy gaze a circular rather than a linear movement toward a purposeful destination. Ennui takes the place of action and resolution. It is a journey without end. We never reach yonder. It is not a story with a clear trajectory; images are filmic and present as a series of vignettes. Just as the speed of the train blurs and obscures our own memories of the past, we are in a state of transition from one place to the next. We retain only selective images, the ‘landmarks’ that are fixed in our consciousness. The view outside the cabin windows act in the same way; we are at once amid the urban decay, the melancholia of the landscape blurred by sheets of rain and finally swept indoors to darkened hotel rooms; only to return to the platforms and board the train, once again. There is a brooding heavy atmosphere, a suffocating lack of light and air as the world is passively observed from the window.

Image from the Yonder Series_ XII (within sight but not near) 2016, a visual narrative along the Amtrak Crescent line from Penn Station in NYC to New Orleans in Louisiana.