We want to show hope, to look to the future, and to point to life. At the same time, we want to create images that combat forgetfulness, images that are not easily overlooked, images that stick, images that cannot be shut away – a contemporary document.
This series of portraits unites the past, present and future in individual photographs. It shows (great) grandfathers and grandmothers next to (great) grandchildren in a 200×60 cm analogue black and white portrait. There is no background, no physical reference points – just empty space and two people visible from head to toe, standing together in a tall, narrow format.
These pictures are not only intended to focus on the witnesses, their survival and their unimaginable suffering, but also to look to the future!
It is precisely through the de-contextualisation of the people portrayed in the photographs that the viewer is shown a new perspective. The viewer only sees people. Concrete people. With names, with lives, with stories. This makes the human crime of the Shoah personal – it creates what an abstract representation cannot. It makes the enormity of the crimes palpable because when the people in the photographs face the viewer in their life-sized form, the viewer is not prepared, and it grips them. If the perpetrators had completed their plan, the viewer would never have been able to stand in front of the photo, and the child in the portrait would not be with us today.
The Camera leaves out everything that could obscure a pure view of the subjects and concentrates solely on the image of the person(s) – their personalities, as it were. An artistic, aesthetic and tender view of the person in the photograph opens the viewer’s eyes. An emotional impression intended to preserve history is created.