Swan Lake, from the series ‘Right Time Right Place’
Robert Rutöd loves serendipity, irony and what happens when they converge. The Austrian-born photographer explores the concept to its fullest spectrum in his series Right Time Right Place. Wandering about Europe for 5 years, Rutöd observed and captured instances brimming with contradiction, often painfully funny or unexpectedly tragic. The series questions whether luck is imaginary and how strange it is to find oneself in the exactly wrong place when it happens to be just the right time to document it.
For ‘Swan Lake’, Rutöd sets a chilly scene on Lake Neusiedl, the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe that straddles both borders of Austria and Hungary for nearly 26 kilometers. Full of reeds and no more than 1.8 meters deep, Neusiedl is an important place for migratory birds. The beauty of the photograph is lessened when one realizes the swan pictured is actually frozen and trapped in the shallow icy waters, passersby absolutely unaware of its plight. Though Rutöd divulges the bird came to no actual harm, the contradiction of unexpected serenity and tragedy is key to his overall concept. In Right Time Right Place, we are reminded of the inexplicable nature of the world, never presenting a clear answer even when things seem to align just right.
Image © Robert Rutoed