RAVENS

by Masahisa Fukase (1934-2012)

16 May 2015

Every metropolis possesses its own particular smells and sounds you can identify it with.
A sound that will always remind me of Tokyo is the caw of crows at dawn. Every morning, thousands ( maybe millions ) of crows descend on the city garbage, watching with an scornful eye the intruding late few Cinderella’s and other night creatures trying to escape the spell of morning reality.
Dawn is ravens time and the streets their territory, and you cannot help feeling vulnerable in front of their arrogant and menacing presence.
Dawn is not a romantic hour like dusk can be. It is more a time of loneliness, and I think that is what Fukase’s book is really about. Even though two thirds of the photos are of ravens, you slowly become aware that it is more about human solitude and alienation, symbolized by the crows, than about the birds themselves.

With its grainy and dramatic black and whites, RAVENS is a beautiful but dark and oppressive vision of a world where man appears utterly lonely and powerless in the hands of a fatalistic and cruel Nature.
It is called RAVENS but might as well have been named Hiroshima, or Fukushima, so apocalyptic its vision is.