Exhibitionin Oberwil / Switzerland
Photographer Haal – Flesh Love
When you embrace your lover, sometimes you wish to melt right into them. To realize this wish, I’ve been photographing couples in small, or even cramped spaces like motels and bathtubs. As my work has become more and more intense, I’ve noticed that communication is indispensable. This time, I reached the point of photographing couples in vacuum-sealed packs, in a set that I’ve constructed in my own kitchen. The lights are in the ceiling, so I just flip one switch and have everything ready. I have a few different colored paper backgrounds, which I can leave rolled up in the corner. After the couple get in the vacuum pack, I suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner until there’s none left. This gives me 10 seconds to take the shot. In this extremely limited time I can’t release the shutter more than twice. I’ve been in there myself, and the fear I felt was overwhelming. As the shooting continues over multiple takes, the pressure of the vacuum seal grows stronger. At the same time, the two bodies start to communicate, and whether through unevenness of limbs or the curve of joints they begin to draw a shape of what they want to express. The two lovers draw closer until they finally transform into a single being. Looking at these vacuum-sealed packs of love, we can imagine a more peaceful world. For me, the vacuum pack is only a means: the important thing is connecting to someone.
Máni *Máni is the god of the moon in “Norse mythology”.
It was at a scheduled blackout right after the 3/11
disaster that I became interested in streetlamps, a motif in my work.
Looking up at the streetlamps that stood in town with no light on, I was impressed by their unique figures, which looked as if they were death masks of the electric light, an impression I could not avoid.
After that, irresistibly drawn to this motif of the streetlamps, I found myself single-mindedly taking their photographs as a portrait, overlapping those streetlamps with the people who had influenced me as a persona in my life my family and friends, people I got help from, and people I once gave my heart to.
When I think back on it now, it may have been that I was thinking about what losing the people who were precious to us really meant.
When a child, I found a small dried-up frog about the size of a fingertip and took it home. Carefully I put it away in a box together with other useless things.
A dozen or so years later I came across the box.
The frog had turned into nothing but bones I found the transformation beautiful. My eyes are turned to small things or ordinary scenes, the things easily overlooked. With a camera, we can photograph only the surface of things.
But once I have them as photographs, the sensation that I had when I saw the small things begins to turn into something substantial, which always gives me surprise and joy. I am collecting the photographs.
Öffnungszeiten Mi/Do/Sa 14 – 18 Uhr, und nach Verabredung
Galerie Monika Wertheimer