About Josef PAUSCH † 

JOSEF PAUSCH, OR THE NON-BEING-BEING, OR THE BEING NON-BEING

 

Whenever we meet, somewhere, we do not actually meet, Josef Josef said. He is like his pictures, he is there, but something gets concealed or so openly revealed that it appears intangible. It's like a magical force that exerts a strong attraction, but you don't know where to and why - and you don't know how and where could hold on.

Image landscapes (or image spaces), in which the spatial depth could have got lost. Superficial (surfaces), behind which nothing can be expected. Layers, to which the origin of storage, the time of storage might have been lost - you never know for sure, and sorry, the expectation will never be fulfilled, because it was already there before the photo was "taken", but because it only appeared when the photo already "existed". This moment in time, which negates time because there is no before or after but only that which is not there in this moment (which isn't one) - that is what the photograph shows: it shows what there is while showing what there is not.

That may perhaps be art, if one could counter art with a definition (an ultimate end goal); it could already covertly transport the mysterious unhomely (placing it elsewhere, somewhere completely different than one could or wanted to think, to bring it into a completely different "home" from the "unhoused" that is not a home). That would be art if this could succeed; it would always have been art if that had succeeded; it could always be art if that were to succeed: to make visible what is not visible; to make the visible invisible; to make the "concealed" homely, or vice versa to conceal the "homely".

This is how Josef Pausch works - this is what he works for.

Josef Pausch is not there as photographer, the camera (the room, the dark room) owns him as "photographer" (the one who records the light). He works as a "still-photo-grapher" in the same sense as J.L.Godard works as a "moving-images-photo-grapher" (also A. Resnais). In the final scene of the film "Contempt" Godard records "movement" to negate movement (film): you see the camera moving back, Odysseus appears in the "picture" (not welcoming anything), then F.Lang, the director (who isn't one) and the producer (who isn't one), passing all the staffage to show the "filming camera", behind which there is of course the "actual filming camera". Joseph's pictures (as "still-photo-grapher") are void of any identifiable movement - the person is not really there, the photographer is not really there - but one knows that the person must be there, that there must be movement - that there must be "something" and "someone", that there must be a statement, a hope, a despair, a madness (in the sense of madly intense).

Josef Pausch says: his pictures are always pictures that he carries around with him and that sometimes find a counterpart (in reality?) He says: sometimes it takes years, and then a situation is captured, like a snapshot: he says: I want to bring about the "state of being intrinsic" of things. He shows the "being-in-itself" of the photographs of the

photographer (as Paul Klee said: ...at this moment I am not tangible...).

Pascal Schöning - London / Paris - April 2002

about my photography 

my photographs are portrayals of a moment in time - nothing more and nothing less. they are not snapshots. this already suggests too much violence: snap (like a dog) - shoot (like a soldier). that's not contained at all in the real situation in which things are created. there is no arranging or embellishing. perhaps there is a kind of tacit contract between the people, animals, landscapes etc. and myself... there is hopefully still enough respect (and perhaps a coy serenity) that make it impossible for me to hubristically intervene. i cannot elevate every triviality into an event, for instance. after all, openness, spontaneity, fun, lapidary speed do not constitute opposites to that, because precisely in such situations concentration and accuracy is the most important thing for me. this can happen anywhere. i don't need a photo studio.

what continues to interest me are stills from a (my) film runs and runs. single frames from a story that i am and ("carefully") direct, and which i can also take apart and put back together again... the photos must remain free of the lyrical, the symbolic etc.! i much prefer what's called the trivial. i can work with that. showing a quality that's generally overlooked. for me it's still about beauty (in all its guises) and about absorbing something that hardly anyone else sees, touches, takes away. this is not an explanation, which would only obfuscate; rather, they are parallel thoughts (mental leaps), which probably spring from similar roots. 

conversation with walter stuller, publisher n.y.