Photographs are dreamt
Photographs are dreams. Photographs are always just dreams, initially, of some kind of curtains at the end of a catwalk, to remain true to oneself as a woman, to remain utterly true, to stay at home, to sit down just once more at home and think about the ideals of beauty over the last century before going out – and to gaze into the distance/into space while doing so, and all those things you had to manage back then, forever-changing with the times – Sophia Loren meets Judith Butler – to think up a little cultural semiotics of gestures and the curtain, for example, of desire and gender-theoretical reflection; and all the things you could have done better later, and with those graceful hands, make a gesture just outside of the picture frame and wait for it to be seen or understood, at least by us. And then to close your eyes and observe this photograph from the inside out, and interpret film music that fills the picture with that melodramatic MGM sound of the ‘60s, and the silhouette of that famous actress. And to try to recall her name or what your name could have been back then on that star photo, and then to turn it over and want to know. But this is a slide! you say to yourself and Slides don’t have a paper back with something written on – let alone names! Slides are transparent! And looked at from the other side, they back-to-front your world and memory and they ask you what would have happened if you had looked or breathed in exactly the opposite direction with your eyes closed…Slides are a utopian principle of hope, a painful, counter-factual conditional of the present – seen/said in other words: Slides dream us! Rainer Totzke
Marie, don’t turn around
Stay like that. Don’t turn around. Not yet. Put off moving. Don’t look towards me. Don’t get up and go to the others. Listen to the laughter, the snippets of conversation that reach you. Keep this distance to everything. And in the connection to yourself.
Your face that throws a shadow on the curtain. The shadow of your body running lengthways. Both seem averted and turned towards something at the same time. Away from me, towards the others. Between this room, the hallways and the curtain that all this is photographed against.
The slowness of your hesitation. The contemplation of where you want to be and could be. Stay like this, in this inner movement. Record it, and the shadow too and carry on with your life. Don’t feel at home, don’t commit to anything. Now – at this moment you are a traveller, an aimless person with an aim, with listeners and questioners. Don’t forget being young like this. Keep it, keep feeling it over and over again, stick to it.
The things that surround you will change. No more yellow curtain, no coarse sofa covers, no floor lamp, no starched blouses. The transience of this moment holds the transience of everything. In this moment, I see your life and both of us pausing, without knowing anything about each other. When I press the camera shutter, you will turn around. I hesitate. Birgit Szepanski