Philipp Hort



Pictures of sense


Images are a phenomenon, that fascinates me. To correlate pictures into images using artistic photography is the core of my current work. Although pictures are immediate and regardless of words the question arises what pictures are in the first place. Are they only a reflection of something or do they, in fact, develop an independent existence, an inherent quality which is not a sheer reflection but needs interpretation. I am merely focusing on this inwardness of pictures. In particular I am approaching to fathom what pictures function both ways, that is, standing for themselves as well as acting in accordance with one another.


Pictures can form an encompassing sensual experience. They do appeal to different senses and can be described as loud, quiet, open or entangled. They can associate colours, specific flavors or odors. They can evoke profound mental feelings but also leave emptiness behind. My attempt is to capture these inner aspects in order to combine and form them into systems. At times I experience the results as a variation of sensations and further as a composition with a adequate number of stanzas and a melody that echoes. At this point the combined image reveals its meaning to anyone willing to engage in it.


My single works often combine completely different types of pictures, they show architecture, landscapes, street scenes, apartments, abstract forms and sometimes people. Time and again when I am installing such pictures on formal or textual criteria I reach a point at which the work nearly breaks out and develops a life of its own showing its unique character and nature. Proceeding I try to intensify the effect of snapshots and visual set pieces in order to express their actual essence by letting the single pieces of work interact with one another. This way solely visual sensations become a metaphysical imagery. Maybe this kind of arrangement of pictures can be compared to forms of music or poetry. Each instrument respectively stanza stands alone however, only their interaction and the spectators willingness to empathize with the instruments or read between the lines makes the experience extraordinary.



Trialogue Artist – Artwork –Spectator


The anthropology of images claims that human beings share a need for pictures and images. Even though it is not my task to confirm such theoretical and philosophical approaches towards images it is obvious that human beings have a strong relation to images and pictures for various reasons, artistic, religious or private and that since civilization started in the first place. Logically I believe that artistic pictures have a fundamental meaning for a cultivated mankind in a world where pictures and images are omnipresent. Photography functions the same way as art of painting, plastic, performance or video art. Interaction between picture and spectator is a process, which has great significance for artistic photography.


Ein Bild ist ein Riss im Sein – und diesen Riss spürt der Mensch auch in seiner eigenen Existenzweise.1


A picture is a crack in the existence itself - and this kind of crack any human being can sense in its own being in existence.


Platon describes pictures as something non-existent, something which can only be a reflection of something existent that he calls the primal image of an idea. All pictures and images have an inherent content or meaning no matter if you theorize them as a mere reflection or as something that refers to something else. As it is old custom at first we have a look on the interaction between picture and spectator with a focus on the spectator as the subject. But the above mentioned autonomy of the picture or image makes it obvious that the picture can shift from object to subject in particular when there is a bilateral imagination. This is, for instance, if the artists creates an inherent imagery into which the spectator engages himself. The artist arranged the pictures associatively and also the spectator experiences associations that are not necessarily prescribed in the work. Associations, feelings an insights vary infinitely according to the spectators horizon of experience, his mood and his inner life.This way every consumer of art makes his own experiences with pictures, images, installations or other forms of pieces of artwork by means of his abstractive ability and individual nature. These experiences can by no means be generalized. Therefore I state that every human being has the right to experience pieces of art in his own individual pace and manner without being elucidated or enlightened about the origin, the context or the complexity of pieces of art.


1 Gernot Böhme, Theorie des Bildes, München 1999, S. 7.


All works © Philipp Hort 2016.Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Philipp Hort.