Stand still. And be silent.

Forest. Again and again. Cannot be seen for the trees: The same goes for art. Especially for German art, some would probably add. That’s right. Poets, painters. And later too: Photographers. Forest. Where the eye looks. But, indeed: What does it see?
We could give an answer with romanticism. Where even the solitary silhouette that stands out so clearly from the horizon is always not the same as that which the botanist recognizes. J'est une autre. And: Always figures that seem to belong to that large code.
Like here: Impenetrable thicket. It cannot be decoded. The trunks are dense. In front entangled branches, bent, twisted. Is it still thriving? Does it continue growing as soon as you thoughtlessly look away for an instant? You almost hear it rustling and crackling. The wooded branches protrude so eerily into the room. Where nobody is.
Bright, lights. Be merciful and be free in your mind for once. Only briefly. So that you can catch your breath, before they close up completely. Around you. Break ribs. You thought: The wood. But that was wrong. A little late to recognize your mistake. Because it is getting dark too. No more details, please. How unendingly tired you are now.
Of course. A dream. Not even yours.
There he is. Again. Still. And silent. As though. Was? No, it was nothing. Only forest. Again and again. And you did not see it for the trees.

As though cut away

No. No sea. Although the cards say there is one. It must be somewhere else.
Or: Could it be possible. That you are not standing. Have never stood there.
Rather, indeed: You are flying high above the mirror.

Nuit Américaine

Deep blue. As black as night. Dark violet.
Smoldering flowers. Capsules. Soft grass, in tufts. Crouching close to the ground. Saplings in between, stretching towards something. Could be the light? Certainly. Further back it has bright patches. Only, where from?
Here too: Between drying up trees. On the ground: Decaying leaves. But in front: Pure gold. And the branches: Covered again and again with tears sparkling like diamonds. That’s how it should be. If you believe in fairytales.
And there: Under the wings of a single tree trunk. Which itself remains invisible, but almost tangible: A roof of fine thread. Aerial roots? A few glint silver. There it is again. The light.
Deep blue. As black as night. Dark violet: Day for night.

The others. Collection.

And treetops again. This time in file. Ordered for a trellis. The grass, the bushes: Dry. Dead. And nonetheless a fresher green than ever. World stands still. And waits. For which, for whose signal?
And growth again. Light again. Foreign. Artificial. But in a different way: Orderly, composed. Dead bark, sawn branch. No codes, but letters. Instruction is the language that is spoken here. For whom?
Cages. And nets. Grating as basic structure in which even the dead fronds submit. Captured distance, which knows no longing anymore. What then?
Ships, harbors, canals, shipyards. Stiff sails. Proud masts. Everything in the box. World stands still. And waits. But what for? Here there is neither water nor wind.
To have the world in a box: Actually, this could also be the photographer’s longing. Pictures, views. But never: As in real life. Which defies the collection. Which there will never be in the picture, as picture. Instead: Another.
So why not?
Suddenly this overview.

By Verena Kuni, 2007

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