Concentration

 

This is a series of photographs taken from a window of a flat in the centre of Buenos Aires. This was a chance observation; the window overlooked a rooftop on one of the neighbouring buildings where a little boy was practicing football. He was alone and completely lost in his activity. His bright coloured Club Atlético River Plate jersey is not only a symbol of the aspirations of many Argentinian kids of his age, but its glaring white and read are also in strong contrast with the dark and pale tones of the city architecture around him.

 

It is not poverty that surrounds him, though; the scene is not taking place in a poor neighbourhood but in the busy city centre. It is the random visual mess of cables, construction materials and the decaying walls and windows consumed by mildew that define the stage for his performance. For he is concentrating on a performance, and as the world around him becomes irrelevant, almost ceases to exist, it is only his game is what matters.

 

It is the seriousness of his concentration that is most captivating. He is alone and he never bothers to look up to notice his real audience, the photographer in the window. His carefully crafted movements and the acknowledgement of the cheers of the crowd in his make-believe stadium propel him from the real to the imaginary. The imaginary takes over. He is not on the bleak rooftop but in the stadium, playing perhaps the game of his life, scoring the winning goal for his team.

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Copyright © 20122016 Zsolt Bátori​