Geschwebe

Geschwebe

Photography is, in fact, a fingerprint of light that reflects the world. It captures a reality that no longer exists and yet is visible. Just like the Hubble telescope captures the image of a star that we perceive as just being formed, though the event actually took place a long time ago. Photography becomes art only when that which is reflected of the world and the creative inner light have an impact on the viewer – both at the same time.

 

The pact the photographer makes is to expose him or herself and, like authors, painters and musicians, to bring the invisible to light. Yet, while the musician must conquer silence or the painter a white canvas to make themselves visible, the photographer’s task is often more difficult. To be present in their pictures, it is not emptiness but insurmountable reality that they need to conquer. If they do not manage to do this, their work is, at best, decorative or newsworthy. Julia Baier’s pictures have no news value. The shadow of an indoor plant falling across a curtain carries no valuable information. Nor does the image of a child jumping into the air with a balloon. Nature photographers take much more sensational pictures of penguins. No one will ever know what is at the end of the heavy cable the man is so arduously pulling on, nor the story behind the half shadow of a man at an abandoned aerodrome standing beneath an open sky. What Baier reveals is not outside but rather deep within. Roland Barthes once commented, “In the end, photography is not subversive when it scares, irritates or even stigmatises, but when it is thought-provocative.” Reflection begins, however, with the feeling that so far no one has managed to change anything about it and probably will never be able to. Baier’s pictures capture those exceptional moments of photography, when light falls on the negative from two different directions at the same time, when creator and creation touch each other, rather like the shadow of a plant on a curtain.

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