Verinnerung – Ein Foto/Buchprojekt

Lea­fing through old pho­to albums, faded memo­ries slip off the pages; the crum­bled, cra­cked glue no lon­ger keeps yours and tho­se of stran­gers locked in place. No cer­tain­ty of who the peo­p­le are, whe­re the pho­tos were taken. The truth is like a parch­ment sheet cove­ring the black-and-white pho­to­graphs. Mil­ky and blur­ry, the­re is room for indi­vi­du­al inter­pre­ta­ti­on.

Moni­ka Zobel und Clau­dia Gra­bow­ski ente­red this space by coll­ec­ting stran­gers‘ pho­to­graphs at flea mar­kets across Ger­ma­ny and in for­eign count­ries, some of them as old as a hundred years. In our joint pro­ject, we began to reinvent the sto­ries behind the­se pho­to­graphs, to rewri­te their his­to­ries, becau­se the peo­p­le that once remem­be­red were long gone.

Micro pie­ces, poems, let­ters, post­cards all ser­ved the pur­po­se to reim­agi­ne the past. While the­se texts are our own inter­pre­ta­ti­on of stran­gers‘ lives, their rela­ti­onships, par­ties, vaca­ti­ons, births, deaths etc., they are also a cumu­la­ti­ve sto­ry that has been pas­sed on from one gene­ra­ti­on to the next, with every retel­ling beco­ming some­thing else, some­thing more ima­gi­ned.

Each pho­to is uni­que and yet stran­ge­ly familiar–the kind of pho­to one might haved stumb­led across in the attic or base­ment of a relative’s house.

Nabo­kov wro­te in Speak, Memo­ry (cur­si­ve), „I wit­ness with plea­su­re the supre­me achie­ve­ment of memo­ry, which is the mas­ter­ly use it makes of inna­te har­mo­nies when gathe­ring to its fold the sus­pen­ded and wan­de­ring tona­li­ties of the past.“

Memo­ry does not rely on truth or facts. Our own per­so­nal memo­ries are con­stant­ly res­haped and -ima­gi­ned, always in flux, but always atta­ched to cer­tain motifs and the some­what fan­ciful, magi­cal. We tried to cap­tu­re the­se motifs and har­mo­nies in our texts, whe­ther true or fal­se.

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