It’s a matter of beings. It’s a matter of time. It’s a turn of the past.
We photograph, we take pictures, we shoot each other.
Then there are figures and faces and eyes that flow away, that disappear through time. Hence, we call them ghosts, spirits, shadows, nightmares. We continue to cap- ture them, the others, using photographs, using tools, but the matter remains their appearances. They aren’t ours, they are completely unconnected and indefinitely imprisoned through our vision, through a particular view.
Beings. Time. Past.
We put them away, we collect them in albums, we pin them onto sheets, we share them and we lose them in the fog. They were beings, but now begins the time. And the time is forgiveness and oblivion, it flows and everything sinks in its trail. The beings disappear. People that once were but that aren’t anymore remain. Anyway. Someday we yet again look at them. We re-discover them in a yard sale, in grand- ma’s trunk, and they never had colours in their time, they’re always bluish and blur- red. The beings are now gone, and some faces solely remain. The story they lived is not ours to tell. They are now shadows. A proper way to talk of and with them is to take their ghostly remains and to put them into a new light.
Take a being. Let the time flow. Talk of the past.
Use photographs. Offer pictures.
The fact is, ghosts do exist. We see them every time we look at a picture. We talk about them, but they remain anonymous. What if we take a picture of their traces, the very traces they imprinted once in time? It’s not a photograph of a photograph, it’s not a shade, even less a foggy impression. It’s a question. The query of our passage through the centuries. Photographing a photography is not a simple way to ask, it’s a necessary abyss setting of the footprints we will leave behind. A Polaroid photogra- phy of a photography is the intimate condition of the passage of time. Using such a way, we let the ghosts be what they want to be, shout what they dare, cry what they may.
The flecks now are beings. The time disappeared. Now is the time of the past. Hear the photographs. Listen to the pictures.
by Bertrand Schmid