between then and now, 2008
photography, 50cm x 50cm
Tiber was last to see her, as she lay down, weary with grief and journeying, on his wide banks. there, she poured out her words of grief, tearfully, in faint tones, in harmony with sadness, just as the swan sings once, in dying, its own funeral song. at the last she melted away, wasted by grief, liquefied to the marrow, little by little vanishing into thin air. but her story is signified by the place, that the muses of old, fittingly, called canens, from the nymph's name.
(Ovid. Metamorphoses (Kline) 14, the Ovid Collection, Univ. of Virginia E-Text Center; Bk XIV:320-396: The transformation of Picus)
'Between then and now' is a documentary project about people and places from a vanishing world. This vanishing world is situated in the Bavarian Forest, which is characterized by its rural structure and which is undergoing massive shifts from a traditional to a modern society. A result of this change is the loss of an old life style, along with its values and traditions. Another result is a necessity of leaving those behind and starting something new. Thereby those places and people are left behind.
This vanishing world can be seen everywhere where changes in the social structure happen, where modernization is taking place. Modernization is a phenomenon which happens everywhere and at every time. Old ideas are left behind and replaced by other ideas, which are considered as an improvement, a natural development within our society. But this highly scientific phenomenon is also filled with stories - stories of the past, and the people and places that remain. Places which were part of old traditions and values are abandoned; people who were growing up during a different time still remain. Both of them are carrying the traces of their lives, of their history.
For my documentary project I am documenting these vanishing places. By traveling around I not only got to know the region, but also explored it in search of the traces of past lives. Thereby I am functioning as a hunter, not just catching and collecting these people and places but moreover their stories and their lives.
The photograph within that takes over the part of the communicator and the documenter. The communicator in order to communicate what my eyes have seen, the documenter in order to prove the existence of the places. Therefore the photograph is essential as a visual medium. It not just enables the photographer to document certain places, but also to form its appearance, enhance it and give its meaning, my meaning.
Therefore the title 'Between then and now' stands for the state of mind I am, the state of mine these people are in. Being not able to let go from the past but not let go from the future I am looking back at the time with a sad and a happy eye.