If you know me, you also know that my favorite writer is Julian Barnes. I’m not reading much anymore, but back when I did read like a maniac, I found his writing very close to my way of photographing life. Staged, yet cruel, extremely autoreferential, and oblivious to the needs or taste of the others. Maybe I trained myself from reading Barnes, or maybe the state of mind was already there, and I used my reading as an excuse to explore it further.
Anyway, last week I was looking for props to use with this backdrop (Midas and Bacchus by Nicolas Poussin), which I had custom ordered for my Petra von Kant project, and which I had fixed on the wall in my studio a few days before meeting Alexandra. To be honest, working on the whole Rainer Fassbinder aesthetic and symbolism, I kind of grew tired of booze and cigarettes as permanent fixtures in every scene or tableau. Anyway, “Love, etc.” is the first volume I saw on the shelf, and the cover works pretty well with the rest of the photo. There is no hidden message in the photo, BUT I did come up with an idea for a possible future project – a visual essay based on a text from Barnes’s “Levels of Life”. I have yet to think who could carry out this task, photographically speaking, but it’s something to look forward to, hopefully in the beginning of 2022.