In the 21st century, flying commercial aviation is regarded to be as usual as taking a bus. Nowadays, it is a part of our routine, which constantly reveals itself in new faces. It joins up space and time, in which the advertising image crashes into reality. Ease meets fatigue, comfort meets stress, luxury meets tawdriness, dreams hit into material reality and the feeling of safety is overtaken by that of vulnerability and discontent.
For me as a photographer, time spent in airports and airliners is a unique experience. While traveling within Europe and occasionally to America, Asia or Australia, I have been observing the life around me with a growing appetite for views to become images. What today is a series of images about air travel, initially was a step-by-step accumulation of images about our world, the dwellers of which, to comfort themselves, would say “I fly, therefore I am”. After the exhibitions about the general air travel subject have been shown, book published, there came the time to show images that follow a narrower thematic aspects of the air travellers’ routine.
Half a century ago, flying was a dream come true, an opportunity to see the ground from above and experience the thrill of acceleration of taking off and pay the applause to pilots after the landing. Today, we are simply tired of this flying experience, turning the hours spent in airports and onboard flights it into a quest for comfort zone. The plentiful and ever growing rules and regulations seem to turn on our ignorance and indifference. Actually, the more and the cheaper we fly, the less happy we are about it… The sky is no longer the limit. Our patience is.
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (b. 1974) is a photographer, curator of photography, art critic, editor and publisher of photography books. Mindaugas is a founder and director of NGO “Šviesos raštas”, promoting of photographic art since 2003. He is a jury panel member and curator of international photo festivals, photography competitions and awards, such as European Central Bank Annual Photography award (Frankfurt), Fotofest (Houston), Photo Espana (Madrid), etc. Mindaugas is a recipient of many national and international awards, scholarships, honor titles for achievements in photography; a member of the Union of Art Photographers of Lithuania (1993-) and board member (2005-2009), founder and director of KAUNAS PHOTO festival (formerly known as Kaunas Photo Days), largest annual photo art event in the Baltic countries (yearly, since 2004); a founder and curator of F Galerija (Kaunas, Lithuania, 2004-). He works as a lecturer of photography and writer.