Stolen moments

Every camera has a powerful presence. When there is no camera around, people look free. When you point on someone with a camera, most people look tense, embarrassed, restrained and mannered.

In this project I was interested in catching moments when my photographic subjects didn´t feel the presence of the camera.

Nobody knew that I was taking a picture. My photographic subjects were on the street – a public space – and they didn´t recognize me as a photographer. I was an invisible “thieve”. To catch the moment, I held the camera at thigh level and did not look at the screen or through the viewfinder.

I tried to capture a solitary moment of focused introspection. All photographic subjects looked like they were heading for a certain destination. Which one? I didn´t know! It is up to the viewer to speculate about that.

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My grandmother´s hat

I was only half a year old, when my grandmother died. I know her only through the stories my mother told me. And I own her black, conical shaped hat.

My grandmother spent all her life in a small peasant village in Austria, but she always dreamed of doing long journeys to far-off places like America or Venice.

One day, when I was in this city of dreams, suddenly her hat appeared – swung on the waves in front of Piazza San Marco and disappeared. Later I saw the hat on a Gondola traversing the Canale Grande, near the fish market. And in the afternoon the hat fell down from the sky, a few steps from Ponte Rialto.

Since this Venice trip the hat seems to follow me. It appeared at numerous places and wherever I see it, I take pictures.

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My mother´s world

She is 90 and lives alone in her own large house with 14 rooms. She is still taking care of herself, cooking, doing her laundry and organizing additional help. Although she is wearing strong glasses, her vision is blurred and almost entirely without color. For reading she needs a strong magnifying glass.

Because she is a great storyteller and knows a great many stories about life in the village, many people are visiting her, especially younger ones.

When there is nice weather, she loves to sit on her balcony, watching and listening the traffic on the street. Passing pedestrians wave and greet her: “Hello Paulina!” Then she asks: “Who are you? You know, I cannot see very well, I cannot recognize you?” Then people tell their names and she get´s all the news and rumors – of the village and of the world.

To find out how her world looks like – blurred and almost without color -, I used my camera.

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New York Graffiti

Graffiti are probably the oldest form of art – dating back almost 4000 years to Old Egypt -, and nowadays they are one of the most visible expressions of contemporary youth culture. You can find them all over the world, even in the remotest places.

They are everywhere, on walls, cars, windows, rooftops, inside restrooms, on toilets, sinks, doors, subways, ads, tiles, plants, bodies, bridges, traffic signs, benches.

One of the hotspots of the NY Graffiti culture is in Bushwick/ Brooklyn. In 2014 and 2015 I regularly went there to take pictures of the ever-changing scene. Nothing lasts for long. What is in today is gone tomorrow. There are always newcomers, who spray over yesterdays old stuff.

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