Bundle F119 contains a total of 151 photographs, 32 of which have handwritten references on the back that furnish information about their time (1969–84), location (Duisburg), and names and events (“Gypsy camp school festival, class 5”, “Carnival Abbey”).
Based on the similar content-related approaches of my 5-minute/inventory drawings and the Contraintes (some very Oulipo, others self-constructed) with which Regina Dürig develops texts, she and I created a combination of approaches for bundle F119: a conversation consisting of short prose passages and drawings.
This dialogue arises when both of us pull a photograph out of the bundle and respond to it in a space of five minutes: I with a drawing, Dürig with a text. After doing this with a few photographs, all the resultant texts and drawings are mixed and exchanged. Then Dürig writes a text for each drawing and I make a drawing for each text, again in 5 minutes. This results in four responses per photograph: two direct ones to the photos and two indirect ones. Thus a total of 302 drawings and 302 texts.
The time limit forces a spontaneous, more or less unfiltered reaction to the photos: What can be seen here? What not? To what does the gaze turn first?
“After the five minutes are up, I often find myself looking at texts about which I have no idea where they come from. Figures ask serially for directions, men live in walls, a child made of glass shatters”, writes Dürig. I am also concerned with a kind of “outsmarting myself: during the work the thought process is practically brought to a standstill. It’s not about capturing the most beautiful, most worth drawing, most touching of the photographs, but about telling an unfiltered and very personal story of the very first impressions throughout the bundle. The blunt and often rough-looking drawings blow the incidental out of the constellation and thus give them a special focus.”
Both in Dürig’s texts and in my drawings, a kind of rawness persists, which, through the harmony of our efforts, dissolves into poetry and wit.