Remove Dogma and Form
“Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
| John F. Kennedy, Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962
Today, I had a thought. Well, that happens more often. But this one was of a special kind. Very liberating. This short blog post is a plea for openness, authenticity, and a respectful, prejudice-free world.
I asked myself today, what does it do to me when I turn away from every dogma and mold that is attached to me and my work?
– Concerning the dogma: Why should I be described and described myself as a landscape photographer, just because this is what I have sought and done with love over the last few years? What about my photographs of architecture, urban, small moments, and street photography? Should I withhold all of this just because I have built a target audience that expects this from me? Galleries are similar in nature. They expect their successful artists to produce similarly recognizable work to maintain recognition and sales value of the artist’s work. But we artists change, don’t we? Isn’t it incredibly boring to stand still? To do the same thing over and over again? Isn’t it liberating when I can be anything and grow as an artist?
– Concerning the form: Why should all my paintings conform to a geometry that I like so much? Just because it gives a safe result that will be received positively by my target audience? People are so quick to judge us when we break new ground. Why? I am more than just a form. This is where style gets confused with identity. I use a style in an image as a stylistic device to best convey the intention of the images in a project. This style can change. I might mix black and white images in photography, with experimental photography, alternative processes, or even highly dynamic color photography – if the project is with its intention then demands it. However, my identity across all my projects describes me and my essence. This is the constant that is and remains visible in the end.
Personally, I have never felt I belong to a single dogma and have always tried to avoid them. Why should I only be a scientist when I also love the arts, photography, music, and language, and am human in many different, social roles? Why do people think in these boxes and live in prejudices?
I am looking forward to a more open, authentic encounter with artists and people, in which a vulnerability is courageously brought in, and an open conversation is sought, which makes us as human beings, connect and unites us.