Softcover / 320 x 225 mm / 96 pages
Lithuanian Photographer Visvaldas Morkevicius shows a collection of urban experiences in his photobook Public Secrets. The geography of these experiences spans both the city’s nightlife and the private spaces which provoke and mostly dictate specific actions. The scenes visualize the way the residents of the city make use of their environment and the way the city influences its citizens, which is a crucial part of getting to know an urban centre.
Morkevicius uses mostly black and white photography with a handful of intense and — what appear to be — unprocessed colour images. This combination shows the duality and variety that an urban centre holds. Public Secrets starts off with the more public stories in the night: young people in the prime of their lives, enjoying themselves, getting drunk and dancing to the music. The images of the book then slowly gravitate into more personal visuals of the night and the morning after.
Three people dancing in a bar; a man sandwiched between two woman. The upper body of the woman in the front, standing with her back to the viewer, is naked and holds on to the waist of the man who is dancing with his arms behind his head, photographed in black and white. This is one of the first images of the book, which serves to create a public contrast to the more personal one, revealed as individuals peel away from the group. One photograph shows an unmade bed with white bed linens, with a light glow of sunshine trying to enter the room. It feels unprocessed and pure; a personal space where, due to the absence of the room’s inhabitant, the viewer is able to project his own experiences.
Probably a lot of people can relate to the youthfulness portrayed in this book and have a giggle over it, as it brings back the memories of the wild past — in the night, feeling immortal and boundless, and in the morning, feeling vulnerable and like the truest version of yourself. It’s an experience that, in some way, hides in everyone’s life, the ‘secret’ that we all share, a privacy that Morkevicius makes public in his book.