Book review: PLANETES from BIRGIT KRAUSE such a treat!

“I am capturing the essence of life”,
“I’m waiting, waiting and observing, only to capture the perfect decisive moment”,
“I develop a relationship with my models in order to get an access to the intimate, genuine and natural feelings”

So are typical artistic statements populating the Internet. I never felt acquainted with such a philosophy of photographing the world I live in… Simply because I don’t think I could.
In many regards the world I live in is very unreal and I have a feeling it has always been like this, so why on earth should I pretend I can communicate the REAL when I, myself, barely have an access to it!? It’s just that the dreamscapes we navigate has so much to offer!

What does this mean? Let’s mince it through an example and jump back in time:
Edouard is 8, lives in a crappy building “offered” to the police army families in a 4000 souls city that hasn’t much to offer but a few sport clubs, school and forests.
But it doesn’t matter because for Edouard and his friends, the courtyard is just the best playground on earth. There, they re-enact together sceneries from “The ghostbusters”, they climb trees in what looks like a jungle… When coming back home, main activities consist of watching cartoons, playing ATARI games…

Crying sometimes? Sure, most often comedy tho, merely a child attempt for manipulation.

All in all not much Real in there… And I continue today… Still hardly seeing anything else than what I want to see, understand else than what seems to be the most satisfying explanation to me, constantly obscuring the unpleasing details. I once read somewhere that the difference of what our eyes capture and what our brains offer to our consciousness is phenomenal, a 80/20 ratio, 20% standing for what the eye actually captures… All the blanks being filled with assumptions or stereotypes to save a bit of mental energy… Dreams…

In this light why wouldn’t we have a right to communicate these through photography? After all painters have been doing so for quite a couple of centuries now right?! In the mind of Mr. everyone, photography is much attached to the realm of the real tho. It records and displays what has been, fixes for display a few rays of light.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I m pretty aware that artist photographers have been exploring this path for a while now. Whether we are photographers or not, we do see the world through our own lense and our own set of filters. Newly appointed parents may see the whole world as a threat for their baby, astrology enthusiasts may look at every corners for the signs of their ephemerides…

Birgit Krause is looking for signs of the stars in the everyday physical manifestations of light.
In her book “planètes”, she holds our hand, switches the light off and shows us the stars shining under our beds, in our own private spheres and I find this choice for a topic very clever.

The “space” subject holds very antinomian charges. Space is poetry, a dreamscape, a source of fantasy, a projection, a source of fascination, fears, incomprehension, the temple of god… But also the land of physics, sciences, exploration, theories and experimentations, pragmatism.
“Space” as a subject, supports very well the photography medium in the sense it is by nature, both very rational (camera records light through a lense onto a sensible surface) and irrational (with a photograph you can tell stories, express fantasies, depict surrealist ideas).

Birgit Krause creates with “planètes” a 26 photographs project (+5 illustrations) that tells us more about our relationship with the photographic medium than any other book.
Astrophysicists points telescopes at the sky, she points a camera at your mind.

The book is intriguing, fun, beautifully designed and is getting rare… A piece of advice? Run to 25books (Berlin) or visit their webshop and treat yourself

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