/29 Cities

Thomas Weinberger


The key to comprehending my "Synthesen" series lies in the reflection on time and light in photography. I see light as the photographer's language just as colour is the painter's.

Photography is able to wrest instants away from the continuum of time and to preserve them. In doing so, the question of which instant exactly is to be chosen, is raised. I bypass this question by fusing several exposures of the same subject at different times and I thereby create a static image of perpetuity. I understand my "Synthesen" also as models for capturing space and time. In my eyes they throw into question an everyday reality experienced as a linear continuum. I create a new, synthetic reality composed of parts of reality, maybe comparable to what our brains do while we are dreaming.

My process of creation is more akin to sculpture than classic photography. I regard my day and night shots as raw material through which I define the final form of light using digital image processing. As the final image is the result of a complex working process, I agree with Man Ray when he says: "Beauty is not the goal of creation, it is its reward". Egglestone, who applied the Dye-Transfer technique, said: 'As soon as one gets into the possibilities of controlling colour the photograph does not look like the scene that was actually shot; and sometimes this is exactly the objective'. This is also valid for my working process.

Since technically I need an artificial lighting of the sites at night, mostly places of civilization are subjects for my Synthesen series. Electric light is undoubtedly man's triumph over nature, freeing him from the constraints of the night. If this triumph will be lasting, or if we all end like Prometheus remains to be seen. Therefore in my Synthesen-Series I show civilization in the light of its fragility, but at the same time my works also celebrate the creative power of man.

In view of the irrational exuberance in our world, a surreal visual conception represents my attitude to contemporary civilization more than a documentary one.