It’s still New York City


by Wolfgang Hock

Since my exhibition in 1988 in New York City I went always back there almost attracted magically: So many interesting motives for my pictures ! That I had to record somehow. I always tried as far as it was possible to reach everything walking. It’s an absolutely fascinating mega city, in spite of all hustle and bustle and uncoziness.

That's because over the years so many photos accumulated, first of all slides, which filled many slide boxes and piled up to the ceiling at home.

Everywhere they came up with, never I thought during my many moves to Brazil, within Brazil, and back again to Germany, to make any choice because I saw in them something like a little treasure from past times. But this treasure became older and older and yellow and blue, dusty and the colors changed more and more, especially because of the moist and salty air in Rio de Janeiro, up to the final dissolution.

For long nobody wanted to see them any more: The digital time came and the slide became fuddy-duddy. Who has this very day a slide projector and a pull-out screen, who still has the patience to watch photographs in darkened rooms and buzzing projectors ? Still photographs where you can literally see the past both by the motifs and by the analog image appearance with yellowing, dust and scratches.

That time is over!

When I was back from Brazil starting to work again in my new studio in Germany and looked at the mountains of slide cases - all painstakingly transported by the container over the Atlantic Ocean for the second time -, I came up with the idea, like many people in the present time, to digitize my slides protecting them at least from the final decay.

At first I thought only of archiving  and  'storing' in the computer, i.e. to conserve for the future and avoid the final deterioration. What a lengthy and notably boring act ! And then still everything was totally adulterated, i.e. my (extra quality) digitalization machine did not cope at all with the colors and tonality of my slides. After all no easy archiving by mouse-click !

So post processing by photoshop became important.

But here too, I noted that it was impossible to restore the original state.

On the one hand, the slides were so modified by the time that this was no more possible and on the other hand, the digitization modified the slides in addition by the transformation in pixels. The original appearance of the slides was always more impossible, unless you are satisfied with half solutions and forces yourself to see in the new digitizing the old slides by trying to remember how they were before.

That can possibly succeed who can remember very well, but what is with those who have not seen our time of analog photography. How I explain it to my child ?

So I came up with a very different idea:

The creation of a whole new image reality from a mix of analog and digital picture reality, consciously with both sites visibly of the same value.

That I found fascinating again, this mixture, to develop a photographic mixed media.

That is exactly what I love: to bring together past and present, different cultures etc. That fits me in every way.

I hate the 'full-blooded', bureaucratic divided, statistically ascertainable, legally predefined !

In this way I can make after all photography, without being a slave of the now standard digital "high resolution delusion" (the more pixels, the more resolution, the more 3-D, the better... because more real …) what I already described also elsewhere ("The power of the image").

Again absolutely fascinating for me, where dust and scratches belong to it !