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  • Writer's pictureJana

And what is photography for me?


In this project I depict memories. I break the rules of what is expected of good photography and attack the guild of sharpness first. Actually, I always saw myself as a farmer, but now I'm probably going to become a hunter.

The more I think of Jeff Wall's metaphor, “The Photographer is either a hunter or a farmer”, the less I can relate to it.

I:

“The camera may be thought of as comparable to the eye. The difference is that the camera is not more than the eye. It does not think. Any connection with judging, choosing, arranging, including, excluding and snapping has to be with the photographer.”

(Price 1994:4)

On the other hand, one could counter the statement with Flusser:

“The apparatus does what the human wants, but the human can only want what the apparatus can do.”

(One hundred citations. Edition Flusser)

In my practice and especially in this project, I try to avoid the programmed apparatus, breaking the pre-planned sharpness in images and deliberately composing mistakes. I feel like a hunter in this project because I'm on the hunt for unreal images that aren't there. In order to be able to represent the crumbling memory and its symbols, I have to circumvent the rules of photography and experiment. I sometimes have to take an image a hundred times to capture the symbol I want to transform it into. Photographing has become a chasing after an idea.

It is interesting that people who look at the images that have already been created see them as images snatched from and often from their own dream. In this way I would succeed in finding the symbolism I was looking for for the story to be told in the first steps.

My search for my own identity becomes a search for the images you carry within you. These images call for black and white, they are moved by light and shadow and they call for blurring and dematerialisation.

As John Szarkowski (1976) writes:

"Photography is a system of visual editing... it is a matter of choosing from among given possibilities, but in the case of photography the number of possibilities is not finite, but infinite"

(Szarkowski, 1976)

In relation to this work, I encounter the surrealistic images of Ikko Narahara again. Specifically this picture:


Nirahara 1971. Arizona. Shadow of car driving through desert.


As I drove across the land in Arizona and Utah and New Mexico, I began to have hallucinations that this was not the earth at all and that I had been thrown onto some other planet…

(Ikko Nirahara, [Quotes: Galerie Priska Pasquer])


Fugures


Fig. 1. Jana BÖMER. 2015. Bordeaux. A dream.


Fig. 2 Ikko NIRAHARA. 1971. Arizona. Shadow of car driving through desert. [online image]

Available at:

[accessed 6. April 2023]


Reference


PRICE, M. 1994. The Photograph, A Strange Confined Space. California: Stanford University Press.


GULDIN, R. & Müller-Pohle A. 2020. One hundred citations. Edition Flusser


SZARKOWSKI, John. 1976. William Eggleston’s Guide New York: Museum of Modern Art

NIRAHARA, Ikko, 2009. Ikko Narahara Exhibition in Cologne. [online] Available at:

https://japan-photo.info/ikko-narahara-exhibition-in-cologne/

[accessed 13. April 2023]

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