Tobias Zielony: Story/No Story
A few weeks ago at the Fotobook Festival in Kassel, the folks at Schaden showed me their single copy of Story/No Story by Tobias Zielony. The book wasn’t for sale yet, but I knew I had to get my hands on it. Yesterday the book arrived and I was relieved to find it was as great as I’d remembered. The book is made up of thirteen chapters documenting young people in various locations around the globe. Usually photographed at night, the teens are invariably drawn to generic locales like car parks, gas stations and other public spaces. As the book’s title suggests, their is no story. But this, in fact, is the story of so many young people around the world. They gather at night and wait for something to happen. In an interview included in the book, Zielony quotes one girl he photographed who said, “We’re not bored. Boredom is just a word for what we do anyway.”
One might think that thirteen chapters of kids loitering might be, well, boring. But Zielony’s book is almost cinematic. Flipping through the pages, I feel like I’m floating around the world at night. “There’s a latent narrative,” Zielony says in the book’s interview, “It’s in the situations, in the youth’s imaginations. You can’t say that nothing is happening. My photo series disclose this potential narrative.