A lot of my work originates from serendipitous encounters with places or, even more so, objects, which act as image generators and link my research to new contexts. Throughout my practice, I aim to select the level of chance that I want to maintain or develop by adding unpredictable factors to the photographic process. For my Blumen series, I created twenty-five photograms of a 19th Century forget-me-not flower. For each, the flower was positioned randomly, creating a slightly different image every time. In this case, the unpredictability lies in the way the flower happens to fall and is subsequently exposed to light. It’s my attempt at leaving a part of the rendering process to fate, which in turn calls into question the concept of ‘perfect’ photographic reproduction.
ONE FLOWER, ONE LEAF
One flower, one leaf represents a natural continuation of the research I began for a previous project, Wabi-Sabi. During a trip to Japan, I came across a set of old black-and-white negatives primarily comprised of images of flower compositions, which probably belonged to an Ikebana master. This inspired my interest in the practice, which itself has many parallels with my own artistic research. Ikebana explores themes such as the passing of time, the value of emptiness and, just like photography, highlights details that are considered ‘minor’ by changing the context in which they are presented.
One flower, one leaf is built around site-specific interpretations of Ikebana, which come together by implementing collaborative workshops in different cities with an Ikebana master. First, the participants are given a brief introduction to the art form, its origins and its principles. Afterwards, they’re taken to neglected green areas of the city and its surroundings, where they select spontaneous natural materials, like weeds, moss, leaves or tree-branches. Through the process of Ikebana, these materials – which were previously overlooked – are transformed into something beautiful, ephemeral and unique. Each participant creates their own arrangement which I then photograph. These structures and subsequent still-life images become a symbolic portrait of the city at a given moment. In the near future, I hope to extend the project to radically different territories. The more these contexts vary, the broader the possible scope of the project as a whole.