Fata Morgana

1965 – 2004

And so they go into happiness, and no path leads back.
Françoise Hardy, Peter and Lou

It overflows us. We clean it up. It decays. /
We clean it up again and decay ourselves. /
(…) This is how we live and always take our leave.
Rainer Maria Rilke, 8th Duino Elegy

… when we see a picture of ourselves, we see who we no longer are, what has been irretrievably lost; in the glimpse backwards we sense how quietly and unobtrusively death is creeping up on us. Photography is a protest against the advancement of time, the disappearance of the body, and at the same time the anticipation of death.

In “Fata Morgana”, André Gelpke deals with these truths of photography in a self-experiment. The defiant, melancholy bearing that increasingly characterises the mood of the series is perhaps also a sign of the adaptation of the photographer to his medium and its paradoxical relationship to time.

“Fata Morgana” suggests a fundamental relationship between photography and eroticism, their establishment in the finiteness, their inconvertible striving after an eternity of a moment that consciousness simultaneously fulfils and obliterates in the triumph over time; a promise that ultimately only death is able to honour. The pushing of the shutter release is like an orgasm “une petite mort”.

Martin Jaeggi 2004