A city is always a mosaic of sharply distinctive “social worlds,” or unique cultures, as Louis Wirth found upon organizing the urban sociology knowledge accumulated by the end of the 1930s. That is, one can only claim to know his or her own city if he or she is familiar with as many neighbourhoods representing the various social worlds as possible.
I met Venus during the A város peremén (On the Outskirts of the City) research project. In the past one year, several things happened to her that are difficult for me to process. Over the course of a few months, she lost her mother, and then her patron and her brother. She received a judicial order about her forced eviction from her new accommodation where she had moved after the Dzsumbuj. She tried she steadily looked for a job to escape financial insecurity. I helped Venus find the addresses for the job interviews with Google Maps, sending her the routes to each one. After almost a year, I realized that I had sent her almost fifty locations for auditions and job trials. There were places where she would show up only for the interview, and other places where she worked a few days or weeks. It is very complicated and rather intangible why she always needs to find a new place, why she needs to be born again and again. This is when I decided that I would visit all these diverse Budapest locations connected with Venus’s search for a job, for getting an opportunity to fit in, with a seashell inspired by Botticelli, under the aegis of the Budapest Photography Grant. The seashell was made out of old newspapers, pasteboard, resembling the A város Peremén (On the Outskirts of the City) project, which intended to refine the – mainly media-suggested – image of the Dzsumbuj. The series flashes images of the burdensome one year of Venus’s life, and the locations of her search for a job, parallel to each other. “Never give up!” This was the message Venus herself saw in this project when I told her about it. And what I saw behind the story was the effort, which somehow always gets derailed due to the external expectations requiring a continuance.
We were planning to prepare the photographs of the locations and the related documentary videos together, possibly as the basis for a music video of a future song of hers. After all, Venus only showed up on one occasion of the many, so the photographs you can see here present the scenes of a music video created for a silent song that was never recorded.