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Beyond to the undoubtedly picturesque, mysterious, dark, even fantastic beauty of my birthplace and the mysterious bond that has always connected me to it, I have tried to capture those moments of stopping, those pauses that passers-by indulge in from time to time to simply feel the present moment, that fleeting image, which simultaneously contains our past, our being, and even the inner dreaming which gives a face to our future.

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The moment we inhale to change ourselves in the world, to better understand ourselves in it, to better try to reach a place where we are waiting for ourselves, where we meet with ourselves.

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The moment we become more at one with our solitude, we feel its weight and fortune, and when our path lights up again, so intrinsically connected with our spaces and their identity: the path of the city - the path of life.

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The moment a determined adult meets a simple child, they look at each other and get to know each other.

The moment of silence when the song of our existence begins again.

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Why night views? These days seem to be so hurried, our lives so crowded: small windows in time open more generously at night. These face-to-face encounters with the self, moments from which our modernity tends to turn away, these "nights of truth" (Rimbaud), "midnight trials" (Baudelaire), have been praised in song by poets and painters, including Schikaneder, as they help them rediscover the secret. Some cities even seem to preserve these moments on their own in the form of genius loci. Is it a coincidence that Rilke, a German Praguer at heart, penned the following lines to the young Balthasar Kłossowski, the future Balthus?

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“Every midnight there is a tiny gap between the day that is ending and the one that is beginning and whoever has dexterity enough to slip through it would leave time and find himself in a kingdom independent of all the transformations to which we are subject; there is gathered all that we have lost.”

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In all modesty, I would add: as well as all that the future promises - but above all, to the stubborn.

The city is not a thing. It is a gift, and it is to be shared.

I dedicate these views to Jakub Schikaneder, who gave me the few secret passwords without which Prague might never have spoken to me.

Transaleted by Nathan Fields

Na Karlově mostě