In November 2017 a new centre of art opened its doors in Rotterdam: Gallery Sehnsucht, dedicated to photography. The German word 'Sehnsucht', described by the initiators as "the inconsolable longing of the human heart for we know not what", was also the theme for a first call for participation by photographers from all around the world. I sent in five works of which one was selected for the very first exposition of the gallery (which runs till December 10th 2017).
So why did I answer this call? By nature photography tends to record quite sharply and detailed what is in front of the lens, but I discovered I quite often find pictures that are not so clear in their subject and message more attractive. I confess that the vast majority of the images I make today, still fall in that other category of 'realism' , but I also do frequent experiments with lens blur, motion blur or working with only a small amount of pixels. What it does for me is leaving me much more room to float away in my own fantasies and emotions. Some of those emotions have a lot to do with Sehnsucht.
So sharpness in images is not necessarily important to me. In fact the more exact and detailed, the more the image dictates what I mùst see. If you are a journalist, that may well be what you want. But if you want to express "Sehnsucht", if you want your viewers to feel their own yearning for the lost paradise, retreat in their world of dreams, than softness in lines, colors and surfaces works much better I guess.
Looking at the works I submitted I realized they reflect somehow my own longing for completeness, beauty, love and peace of mind. The quest for the innocence of childhood, for the years that I could believe that god would take care of it all. Such things you cannot photograph, images can only refer to such things.