The first time I read this, it sounded like Leonid Tishkov needs to be kept away from vodka.

“Private Moon” is a visual poem, telling a story about a man who found the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life.

In the upper world, in the attic of his house, he saw the Moon which had fallen from the sky. At first she was hiding from the sun in a dark, damp tunnel and was constantly frightened by the passing trains. Then she came to the house of the man.

Wrapping the moon in a thick blanket, he gives her autumn apples and drinks tea with her. When she finally recovers he puts her on a boat and carries her across a dark river to a high bank, where moon pine-trees grow.

He descends to the lower world wearing the clothes of his deceased father and then returns, illuminating the way with his private moon.

Transcending the borders between worlds via narrow bridges, sinking into sleep, taking care of the heavenly body, man turns into a mythological being living in the real world like in a fantastic fairy-tale.

A man finds the moon, sorry Moon, who is frightened by the noise of trains? He gives her autumn apples?

Maybe I’m just losing it in my old age, but it sounds curiously beautiful the more I think about it. It’s like a curiously-twisted version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, except here it’s the woman (Moon) following the man and their quest is entirely aimless. The above text is the accompaniment to a series of photographs titled Private Moon and some of these shots are beautiful. My favourites are those in which the gleaming moon is seen in completely everyday circumstances, like the moon in the balcony of an apartment building. Or the one in which the moon’s in the attic and there’s a man coming out of the trapdoor. The easy acceptance of the magical in these photographs — in fact, it’s almost as though there’s nothing out of the ordinary about a moon lying around — drew me to these photos. It’s as though the people in these photos don’t even notice that they’re part of something incredible, that they’re part of the myth-making process. And it’s true, they don’t. Much like we don’t realise we, with our everyday exotica and banalities, are as much a part of a myth-creating and myth-perpetuating project.

2 thoughts on “Private Moon

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