Inscription – why writing on photographs?

What strikes people immediately when they look at my Contemplations is the fact that all these tiny texts (as small as 1 mm / 0.04 inches) are handwritten. The 2nd perception is about how the works change depending on light and viewing distance. If you step a few meters back, you often only see the photograph and no text at all, as you’re getting closer something like a haze seems to lie over them, until you’re close enough to realize that there are up to 30 printed pages written on a 30x30cm (12×12 inch) piece.

Writing on my photographs isn’t just an aesthetic play, it’s an additional layer of meaning interacting with the photograph, melting together with it, even if one doesn’t read or know the texts I’m using. The act of adding text is already significant in itself and on a very abstract level for me, as I always had a very special relationship with texts and textuality. That I once studied literature (long ago… it almost feels like another life) is already the effect of a fascination that is rooted early in my childhood.

In my photo book ‚Until I Break‘, and in the little texts interspersed between the images, I’m going after these biographical ‚imprintings‘ which all of us are carrying along like little textbooks coined into our subconsciousness that make us become who we are. „My earliest memories are to me but a handful of stills saved from a movie long lost, and can be summed up in two concepts which, in my perception, are mutually dependant: inscription, the act of writing, and intensity, its amplitude in a way.“

Photography itself is nothing else: the inscription of light onto a sensible surface with a certain intensity. Add some chemicals and the photo appears.
It’s this poetry which makes me prefer analog photography over digital one.
And it’s this crazy mixture of violating a surface and generating meaning by doing so which never stops to captivate me.
Add the (even stronger!) desire of reversing the process – of being the canvas – and the circle is complete: you’re in the heart of mysticism.

Becoming empty, like a blank page of paper, or like an empty cup, the ‚vas spirituale‘, to be filled and written upon, overwritten even, in the process of unification with God – that’s something which is common to all the authors of Western mysticism whose texts I’m using for my works. Just the means may differ.

The process of writing these texts on the photos is in a sense such a meditation during which I empty myself completely.