light-trapping (failure is not an option) 2007-09
In my light trapping performances I am re-building the installations my father used to build up in our garden or during our camping holidays in Austrian forests to catch moths which only fly at night. I am mirroring my father’s amateurish approach by re-enacting with photography.
To photograph the night-trap sessions I am using cheap low-quality digital snapshot-cameras as well as a professional 4×5 inch large-format camera with color negative material.
A lot of the moths which I used to encounter in my childhood seem to have vanished possibly due to ecological changes. I live in Essen, a big city right in the center of Germany, and when I build up my light-trap-installations, only a few small insects are attracted to my special-frequenced light bulbs, even when I move into public gardens or nature playgrounds.
The sporting wish to take pictures of exotic, colourful, big nocturnal butterflies has been overwhelmed by the insight that nothing spectacular would be happening during these sessions.
First I was bored, but then I could accept it as a lesson and took photographic proofs of the „making of“ as evidence: different lamps, fluorescent tubes, illuminated bed sheets, tripod installations, cables, some tiny moths, snakes, spiders and surrounding landscape fragments.
My entomologist’s failure helped me to realize the absurd beauty of the light trap installations. Observed from a non-zoological point of view these fabricated transitory artifacts can be perceived as anonymous ready-mades, built for an enigmatic sense still to be decoded, like some Fluxus artists’ UFO-traps made out of wheel caps…
Thanks to Ole Heyer for his life risking help…
artist book, 300 x 210 x 10 mm
Lambda-Prints mounted on aludibond, ca. 120 x 150 cm, 20 x 30 cm, edition of 5