Gesucht wird …

Gesucht wird … (Wanted …) presents found posters assembled in twelve countries around the world between 1983 and 2018. Spanning 400 pages, all were produced in the search for missing animals and mostly include cats, dogs, a few birds, and one ferret.
In the book, these posters are presented in the order they were found. The sequencing inadvertently reveals the creeping influence of personal computers in society, as expressive hand-written scrawls slowly give way to the clean, generic typefaces of Microsoft Word.
The longer I collected them the more I realized there’s probably no better way of showing the affection people have with their pets than a home-made poster. The self-made design and typography, the vernacular language used, and the snapshot quality of the photographs are endearing and expressive markers of that affection. With the latter, it’s possible to imagine that all the photos of cats and dogs in the world are only really ever made in case they one day have to appear on a Wanted poster.
2018
digital print, color
29.7 x 21 cm, 400 pages
softcover, sewn
25 copies
80 €

Main Street

Twenty-six photographs of small town main streets.
2015
digital print, colour
14.8 x 10.5 cm, 60 pages
softcover, sewn
100 copies
out of print

Lambe Lambe

Three series of portraits, based on street photographers’ discarded negatives found in the streets of Belo Horizonte between 1992 and 2002.
The portraits in this book were made by anonymous “lambe-lambe” photographers in the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and were not intended to be seen by a larger audience. Their initial function was for private clients who were in need of portraits for various administrative purposes. The photographers had the habit of discarding their negatives in the streets where I collected this treasure. The photographers worked with extremely simple equipment and they processed film and paper quickly disregarding any archival considerations. Despite or maybe even because of the seemingly artless process the images are striking and powerful. As a group they form a randomly composed collective portrait of the population of a city, and they are documents of an era gone by, replaced by the clean process of digital photography that does not leave any trash in the street.
2014 by Editorial RM
book design by Astrid Stavro
text in English, Spanish, Portuguese
offset, colour
18.5 x 13 cm, 120 pages
softcover, sewn
1,000 copies
ISBN 978-84-16282-00-5
28 €

Sixty-Eight Minutes on the Sunset Strip


On March 26th, 2014 I set out to explore the Sunset Strip. Coming from the south, I arrived at the western end of the strip at 2:58 pm. Traffic moved very slowly past buildings, apartments, real estate opportunities, parking lots, a gasoline station, and a few palm trees. It took sixty-eight minutes of stop and go traffic before I arrived at the eastern end of the strip. The reason for slow traffic was a small fire.
2014
digital print, b/w
14.8 x 10.5 cm, 80 pages
softcover, sewn
100 copies
12 €

Bilder von der Straße

Bilder von der Straße (Pictures from the Street) is a thirty-year project which began in 1982 and ended in 2012. During this time I picked up one thousand lost or abandoned photographs from the world’s pavements. Although the collection has been exhibited widely, this is the first time it is printed as a complete set. Published in four volumes, the books present every found photograph or its fragments in their original size and in the chronological order they were discovered. No artistic intervention has taken place except for the inclusion of the date and location where each picture was found. As well as providing a record of my travels, the books document people’s use and abuse of photographs, with almost all the photographs in the collection depicting people and more than half of these being ripped or defaced in some way.
This act of discarding or destroying individual photographs seems to point to a desire to eliminate memories of specific moments in people’s lives. By encouraging viewers to imagine the stories of the people depicted, the project raises questions about the emotionally-charged events that could warrant such destruction. I consider this collection to be a social documentary consisting of both visual artefacts and human documents. Produced in a systematic manner, it is an inventory of lost photographs and memories that hint at the mysteries of people’s private lives and at their attempts to document and destroy them.
2012 (the 2009 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, colour
29.7 x 21 cm, 4 volumes in a box, 256 pages each
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
240 €

Arcana

Arcana is a series of photographs made from discarded and damaged negatives that have been collected over a long period of time from many cities. These abandoned images have either been rejected or lost by their original owners. Removed from their original context and scratched by the streets they were dropped on, we are given a rare, altered glimpse into the everyday lives of strangers. There is a kind of violence in the degraded objects these negatives have become, but also a beauty. The book includes the entire series of 45 photographs.
2014 (the 2009 print-on-demand edition is discontinued)
digital print, b/w
21 x 14.8 cm, 48 pages
softcover, saddle-stitched
50 copies
8 €

Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa

When I made my first trip to Brazil in 1992 I arrived in Belo Horizonte, a city as big as Berlin that most people have never heard of outside Brazil. In a public square in the center of this city I found a series of black-and-white portrait negatives. The photographers who made these portraits worked in the square using extremely simple equipment: a wooden box that served both as a camera and a darkroom. In front of a simple backdrop, photographs were taken with that box and developed inside it. The clients got their portraits after few minutes. The negatives were discarded. I collected these negatives and printed them. The title of that work is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rio Branco. In 1993 I made a similar work, Belo Horizonte, Parque Municipal.
Originally these portraits were taken for various administrative purposes, ID cards, driving licenses, and so on. People who are well off get their portraits taken in studios, and people who cannot afford studio portraits go to the square. The photographers do not give directions to the people depicted. They take plain, frontal, straightforward portraits.
When I returned to Belo Horizonte this year the photographers had moved to another square. And they had abandoned their primitive technique. They work in colour now using 35 mm cameras. After the photographs are taken they run to the nearest lab to get the strip of film developed and printed. The clients pick up their portraits about half an hour after they were taken. Negatives are still discarded. During my stay in Belo Horizonte I got up very early every morning before the street cleaners start to work, walked to the square and collected all the negatives I found. The result is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa.
2004
offset, colour
14.8 x 10.5 cm, 64 pages
softcover
400 copies
out of print

Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa (2002)






^ foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, 2003

When I made my first trip to Brazil in 1992 I arrived in Belo Horizonte, a city as big as Berlin that most people have never heard of outside Brazil. In a public square in the center of this city I found a series of black-and-white portrait negatives. The photographers who made these portraits worked in the square using extremely simple equipment: a wooden box that served both as a camera and a darkroom. In front of a simple backdrop, photographs were taken with that box and developed inside it. The clients got their portraits after few minutes. The negatives were discarded. I collected these negatives and printed them. The title of that work is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rio Branco. In 1993 I made a similar work, Belo Horizonte, Parque Municipal.
Originally these portraits were taken for various administrative purposes, ID cards, driving licenses, and so on. People who are well off get their portraits taken in studios, and people who cannot afford studio portraits go to the square. The photographers do not give directions to the people depicted. They take plain, frontal, straightforward portraits.
When I returned to Belo Horizonte this year the photographers had moved to another square. And they had abandoned their primitive technique. They work in colour now using 35 mm cameras. After the photographs are taken they run to the nearest lab to get the strip of film developed and printed. The clients pick up their portraits about half an hour after they were taken. Negatives are still discarded. During my stay in Belo Horizonte I got up very early every morning before the street cleaners start to work, walked to the square and collected all the negatives I found. The result is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa.
JS, Berlin, September 2002

Photo-based installation consisting of 240 portraits, 24 x 18 cm each.
Ten selected portraits are available as c-prints (30 x 20 cm each on 42 x 30 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).

A selection of portraits was published in the book Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa (2004).
Another selection is included in the book Lambe Lambe (2014).

Photographic Garbage Survey Project (1996–1997)


^ From Photographic Garbage Survey Project, Report No.2


^ Goethe-Institut, Galerie Condé, Paris 1996

For nearly fifteen years I’ve been collecting all photographs I’m finding in the street. Each photograph becomes part of the ongoing project Pictures from the Street. In the beginning, collecting this garbage was a casual activity, however, it slowly turned into an obsession. The longer I’ve been doing it and the more photographs I’ve been finding the more my way of perception changed. Now I don’t find photographs any more, I look for them – just like a truffle pig. Indeed I think that the nearly 400 photographs I have found so far are a treasure. Some of them are extremely fascinating images (mankind would have lost them irretrievably without my intervention) and the entire group forms a unique compendium of photographic garbage, an anti-museum. While museums collect and preserve those pictures which according to our society’s consensus are important samples of our present culture and should be kept for the future, I’m specialising in those images which obviously are considered so unsuitable and irritating that their makers and owners think they should not have any future at all. These images represent the other half of our culture.
In 1996 I started the Photographic Garbage Survey Project in order to collect and preserve thrown away photographs systematically. I travel to selected cities all over the world and stay there for some days or weeks. Every day I go for an erratic walk through another part of the city in order to collect all abandoned photographs. The result of these inspection tours is a report for each city consisting of the found photographs, a list of discovery sites, maps with the inspected streets marked, and a statistical evaluation. Altogether these reports form an international compendium of photographic pollution in modern cities. The project started in Vigo (May 1996). Subsequent cities include Paris (June 1996), Berlin (August 1996), Zurich (September 1996), São Paulo (November 1996), San Francisco (February 1997), and Rotterdam (July 1997).
JS, Berlin, August 1996
(Statement for the catalogue of the VII Fotobienal, Vigo 1996)

Arcana (1996 / 2008)


^ Berlin, April 1986


^ Madrid, February 1992


^ Cambridge, March 1992


^ Lisbon, March 1993

Prints made from found negatives.
Twenty b/w pigment ink prints, 35 x 39 cm each on 40 x 45 cm paper. A selection of ten pictures was reprinted in 2014 (pigment ink prints 40 x 45 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP)
An expanded version consisting of 45 images in a smaller size was made in 2008 (pigment ink prints, approx. 20 x 23 cm on 23 x 27 cm paper, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP).

A catalogue is available in the series of white books.

FixFoto (1986)

The print was made from a color negative strip that I found at the spot where the photographs were made and processed, in front of Berlin’s first one-hour lab. A closed circuit of making, processing, discarding, and finding a photograph.
B/W print mounted on aluminum 128 x 28.5 cm, edition of 3 copies + 1 AP

Bilder von der Straße (1982–2012)


^ No.5, Berlin, April 1983


^ No.37, Berlin, August 1987


^ No.74, Barcelona, April 1990


^ No.75, Berlin, May 1990


^ No.83, Berlin, July 1990


^ No.140, Belo Horizonte, August 1992


^ No.187, São Paulo, September 1993


^ No.216, San Francisco, March 1994


^ No.217, Los Angeles, March 1994


^ No.246, Paris, October 1994


^ No.309, Paris, August 1995


^ No.344, Berlin, December 1995


^ No.379, New York, March 1996


^ No.409, Berlin, June 1996


^ No.414, Paris, July 1996


^ No.460, Rio de Janeiro, December 1996


^ No.629, Berlin, November 1999


^ No.714, Chicago, August 2001


^ No.744, Recife, April 2002


^ No.830, Madrid, February 2004


^ No.885, New York, February 2007


^ The Photographers’ Gallery, London 2007

The series Bilder von der Straße (Pictures from the Street) started in 1982 and came to an end in 2012 with the 1000th finding.
One thousand A4 panels of found photographs mounted on board, 29.7 x 21 cm each.
A complete documentation of the work is available as a four-volume book.