The image as an event
"Not wanting to say, not knowing what one wants to say, not being able to believe what one wants to say and always says or almost" Samuel Beckett *

This sentence from Samuel Beckett expresses at the same time complexity and coherence which we can face when we speak about art. To think about the form, the image, space and time are very important questions in my artistic work, even essential.

I thus decided to understand my working process in its essence and not in its artistic form. Wanting to define the images or to understand them by words is an exercise which requires reading between the images, to see what there is inside the image, in its interior.

This composition of various elements makes my work a considered and definite network, like a universe having its own elements of existence. Each one has its role and takes its place without harming the others; it is composing itself with the others.

I forsake the question of representation of reality and resemblance to privilege a fiction which can sometimes be narrative. These images are close to some paintings which struggle between abstraction and definition as those of the German painter Magnus Von Plessen from where a feeling of complexity and incompleteness transpires which interests me enormously. The image requires time. Being relatively secret, it creates this time suspension in order to be revealed.

The images then become the reconstruction of a language which contains codes to define this universe. They exist to say who I am. The various plans create a space to give us a different aspect of reality. The juxtaposition of plans weaves the space and brings us into constant negotiation in a search for our place in relation to the image.

The word 'tilting' fits rather well into this feeling of change, of continuous research in which time controls everything. The image is an event where the “before”, the “during” and the “after” bring a whole to this universe; a universe in which I seek neither to describe nor to reveal something, but rather to share my real-life experience of reality, my way of seeing space and reflecting it, expressing it.

Each photograph is plotted as a map: an heterogeneous constitution with permanent fusion of borders. My images are always made using concern for the perception and the expression of a defined territory (the surface). It is a made-up configuration assembled on the same surface by weaving a data network. Nothing is brought to the front because the connection is laterally created, bringing depth thanks to the lines of latitude and longitude. There is not a preconceived subject at the beginning; the design of the image is done in space and all the existing data oscillate in time as in a labyrinth. The image is only formed by an interval of rhythms in the data which make this time I seek.

I really do not want to stop in front of the image; I seek its origin and its incidence. The transformation which exists from the form to the space makes this research into the creation of a concept. We are simultaneously in the center of the image and in its periphery. The feeling of emptiness around us creates a suspension, a reserve and an unvoiced remark which makes the reading neither linear nor historical. The images conjure up a different reality and temporality, a narration which does not fit in a chronology.

This device sometimes creates confusion between reality and narrative fiction. In particular with the tight framing of characters and close focus, I seek to capture the essential in the image; a little in the manner of Jeff Wall. With this device I create a triangular play in which I attempt to allow the glances of the subjects to give a kind of exclusion which bring us back to the intimacy of my work.

Time is imperceptible and the characters are created in time, as happens in the work of Pierro Della Francesca. They belong to one moment when reality remains perpetual. This suspension of time, this kind of indecision, captures the action, whereas the essence of the movement still remains to come. The image retains in fact some events in order to highlight them.

The space-time layer in which the composition of space is conceived creates an ontological return to the image. Thanks to the frame of the image and its ambiguity, it remains in memory to coexist with reality. In other words, this ambiguity brings fluidness and nothing is motionless. The movement is present.

We are then in the pre-action; I prefer to stop in the composition of the image when I really start to like it. Indeed, when I feel that it is likely to arrive, I take all possible steps to capture the elements which are of the order of the temporal.

With the filing of images and this composition of various points of view, I do the same as in “La Invención de Morel” of Byo Casares: I create my own fancy which moves and substitutes the glance.

The image must become an event non-time related because it creates time. So it is “achronistic” and non anachronistic. It proposes an open reading to everyone during which we must take time to observe and to move ourselves in order to be located at various points of space to reconstitute the image.

* Written by Samuel Beckett in Molloy

Klaus Fruchtnis © 2004