The Lure of the Sea and Photography
Having grown up landlocked with the nearest shoreline at a considerable distance I guess my introduction to saltwatery spheres, coastal culture, oceanic occultism and the infinite joys of the sea can hardly be called an intuitive act. Despite a handful of physical encounters with the soup of life during my formative years, it is only in my early twenties that I truely fell for shorelines and seas and became enchanted by those binary magical realms, where human civilization is confronted with natural sublimity and the beautiful barbaric chaos of the untameable wild. Fascinated by what oceanic environments could potentially offer to me, I began to form a more profound physical, emotional and spiritual relationship which has evolved ever since.
In a spectrum of manifold search and inner exploration, actively engaging my body and senses in a dynamic natural environment became of increasing importance and provided some truely transcendental experiences that helped me to cope with corruptions and social restrictions of everyday life. The creative pursuit of waveriding, the seemingly trivial act of sliding along a line of force of water, trying to harmoniously align with pure elemental grace while embracing the here and now through unconditional immersion in the present moment, was fulfilling to an extent that it became a plausible answer to some of the more pivotal questions of life and gave me an idea of a larger picture of creation and existence as a whole. While navigating the crests and troughs of life, the recreational use of water helps me to synchronize mind, body and soul with nature’s energetic cycles and initiates an intimate reflective process of conscious and subconscious self-contextualization in which I modestly attempt to strive for authenticity, freedom and the fulfillment of personal affectations.
In a world in which identities have become increasingly versatile, partly elusive and more and more fractional, the confrontation with an immensely grounding and fluidly receptive primal energy source gave me a strong sense of affiliation and merged me, amongst numerous others, into a likeminded cosmopolitan subculture of ocean-fanatics. An international and intergenerational ‘ocean tribe’ that is connected and unified through the awareness of the ocean’s potential to transgress and dissolve physical and mental boundaries. It is the lure of the sea that evoked a strong and indefatigable drive to wander, explore, experience, share and create within this thriving cultural sphere.
Still rarely ever grabbing a camera in my domestic environment, photography started to work as a creative valve while on the road and has become a means of coping with what I experience along my journeys. Elusive and fleeting in nature, at times those experiences and impressions can hardly be put into words. The act of trying to intuitively capture the utterly immediate and incomprehensible through photographic perspective is an attempt of momentary reflection that seeks to secure and cast some of the non-objectively interpreted sensuousness into frames of enduring quality. By nature, those very frames reduce and condemn an intricate and complex outside world and it’s phenomena into a two-dimensional projection. However, it is the very same two-dimensionality that is capable of comprising some truly non-rational forces and hence images possess the power to create very intimate and personal value. Every image is a connotative symbolic complex that requires a re-transfer of meaning through imagination and consequently allows for dynamic individual interpretations depending on the beholder’s intentions at any given point in time.
To some extend, through photography I aim to freeze frame time and space in order to capture very real and personal past experiences, however, because of the visual fixation of matter with a lack of movement and context, those images ask to be interpreted and consequently withhold a very fascinating mythical quality. While being confronted with an image, this mythical quality allows for non-linear space-time journeys which time and again, through variable interpretive approaches, enable a transformation of the beholder's perceptions and potential memories and therefore are capable to continuously alter and reproduce realities in a truely subjective manner.
While the act of taking a photo is a way of narrowing my personal space-time focus on the here and now, appreciating and soaking in the delicate details of my surrounding environment, the editorial act of making a photo is part of a retrospective process of reflection and often an attempt to temporarily escape the buzz of daily routines while daydreamingly seeking refuge to find comfortable shelter in the purity of the image. It is the aesthetic experience, in which the context of the object becomes irrelevant and where it is less about mastering a resemblance of the photographed subject but rather about aesthetically significant visual elements such as lines, shape, colour, texture and light, that move to the fore and gradually morph encaptured fleeting moments into photographic art. Art through creative metamorphosis. A metamorphosis resulting in evocative visuals that carry the potential to spark fantasies and serve as a strong stimulant to action, provoking the keen observer to engage body and senses with whatever myth perceived while being lost in the aesthetic experience.
Due to the fact that it is hard to pinpoint what in particular makes the difference in a still image I enjoy applying various conceptual approaches and photographic methods that stimulate each other and mutually combine digital, analogue as well as interdisciplinary techniques in an experimental way. Instinctively embarking on a journey of alchemical craftsmanship, time and again I am intrigued by the seemingly inconsistent recognition that visual perfection all to often is achieved through the essence of non-conformance and its resultant
imperfectionist aestheticism. Imperfections that through the recognition and acceptance of organic marks add an important balance towards some of the shortcomings of the haunting and contemporary widespread ‘violence of perfection’ by mirroring aliveness and thus embracing openness to the vital and unforeseeable qualities of the humane, nature and life itself.
Being drawn to the ocean as a source of visual, philosophical and poetic wonderment that not only offers adventures and challenges but also provides solutions and conveys a metaphysical sense of belonging, the joint looseness of improvisational arts such as photography and the act of riding waves helps me to partly decipher the incomprehensible and serves as a means of communication in the exchange with my natural and social surroundings.