Early last November I visited the Moroccan town of Marrakesh for the first time in 26 years. I went there mainly to attend a reception party for my solo exhibiition at a refurbished former royal palace that currently houses the Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Arts (MMPVA); talk with students at a local art university; and do several press interviews.
Although my eyes seemed to detect a certain changeover in the city of Marrakesh that I hadn't seen for half a century, borrowing the rhetoric of Takuma Nakahira, I would say, "Marrakesh was there in front of my eyes and looked like no other place than Marrakesh." The scenery that I felt and perceived with my eyes was indeed that same old Marrakesh, that kingdom of light that I had seen long before.
Once I had finished my various businesses, I grabbed my camera and took a dive into the chaos of the city. After wandering around for a while, I made a little side trip to one of the indigenous Berber peoples settlements that are scattered at the edge of the Atlas Mountains, and took some pictures.
While I was walking around photographing, at some point a certain chain of words began to engrave themselves into my mnd. It was a very sensitive phrase by Elian Canetti in his wonderuful travel record The Voices of Marrakkesh: "I had been here hundreds of years ago but I had forgotten and now it was all coming back to me." In other words, I was feeling something I would describe as a philosophical contemporaneousness, of history and of civilizsation, or perhaps some kindo of far distant memory of the things and paths I seemed to have walked in a former life. This time I tried and walked several routes in the souks that run like a labryinth inside the medina of Marrakesh, and while pointing my camera at these people at the intersection of various ethinc groups, I found myself completely lost in rambling speculations about "why the human world is so similar yet so different ast the same time...
-Daido Moriyama, afterword, Record NO. 30