2017 September 15, 15h00
The eponymous “Peripher” functions in my works as a structural, aesthetic and mental moment. It refers to places of transit and transition that defy unequivocal classification, standardization and demarcation. I portray cityscapes in which people, upkeep, habits and uses always remain hidden. The tenor remains the same regardless of whether the scene is set in Charleroi, Liverpool, New York or Tokyo. The pictures are universal and never seem foreign or forbidding, but ever familiar in their everyday banality, even to those who’ve never been there before.
I’m always on the lookout for motifs, to be sure, but sometimes they just come to me by serendipity. As I roam the city, sometimes it’s simply there all of a sudden: that feeling I seek to convey in my photographs. It is the perception of that touch-and-go moment when everything hangs in the balance, the instant before a fateful decision is to be reached: dereliction or gentrification, danger or safety. Anything can happen. I’m averse to calling my pictures architectural photographs or seeing any direct ties to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s work, although my work is clearly in line with the photographic tradition of recording man’s relationship to his (built) environment since the second half of the 20th century.
In order to keep as close as possible to the »human gaze«, the experience of an instant, I make use of a method of digital montage invisible to the viewer. Putting together several medium-sized negatives I form one big picture in order to portray larger sections without distorting the perspective, which would be inevitable in a mechanically constructed single-shot exposure using a large format camera. In a word, I make use of technology not to falsify reality, but to »cling to it as closely as possible”.