Erase and conquer
Bizarre or trending subjects, catch a break with our curiosity of the week. Tired of the mass production of images, Karl Alexander Herrmann is convinced of one thing: it is necessary to erase one’s pictures.
After training to be an architect, Baden-Baden-based Karl Alexander Herrmann turned to photography. He discovered the medium through his uncle’s black room. Though the advent of digital cameras first attenuated his interest in the practice, the mass production of images over the last decades eventually inspired him. “I simply needed to find the appropriate method”, he tells us.
The intuitive artist builds a blurry and dark world, where silhouettes and objects distort, and stretch to infinity. Almost pictorial, his pictures seem to project echoes from another time and space. A series of abstract canvas reflecting the hidden parts of our surroundings. “I’m interested in movement. What arises is not an effect to me, but a way to make visible what you don’t usually notice. Scraps from a parallel universe – I don’t necessarily believe in the visible world only”, the photographer tells us.
A picture must show itself as such
It is through multitude that Karl Alexander Herrmann’s work flourish. “I long rejected digital photography, especially since it enabled everyone to produce a flood of images anywhere and at any time. I had to find my way to deal with it: I take hundreds of pictures in one session – instinctively – and then delete most of them”, he explains. With irony, the artist reverses our relation to imagery consumption. What is a good photography? How can it shine, in this visual tide? “A picture must be coherent as a whole, or I won’t keep it. The selection of the images and takes only a few seconds. A picture must show itself as such, otherwise it is not”, the photographer states.
Spectral, his creations become timeless artworks. Influenced by modern techniques, the artist likes to erase all trace of the present in his compositions. As if snatched, his pictures are testimonies of a moment – as intense as it is brief. An instant frozen by his camera, as he presses the trigger repeatedly. “To me, photography is all about deleting pictures. I may even have erased my best work without realising it”, he concludes with humour.
© Karl Alexander Herrmann