Arnoud Holleman

Amsterdam — dinsdag 23 juli, 2024
nl / en

Susan Sontag

tekening, foto, tekst

Portret van Susan Sontag, getekend in 1992, bewerkt in 2005.
Ingelijste tekening en tekst.

De Hallen (Haarlem, 2005)
Artpace (San Antonio, 2006).

I've always thought of photography as something very magical and it is my belief that this is based on a genuine experience: in my early childhood there must have been no sharp distinction between a real thing and its image. In the same way that kids see themselves as inseparable from their mother until the age of three, I thought that object and image were simply two different manifestations of the same energy.
At that age, I did not have a camera to execute the magic trick myself, but when I was doing my best to draw a cat or a flower or a house with my limited skills, I definitely longed to participate in the reality of the objects I was depicting. This longing basically hasn't changed over the years and still re-emerges with every click of a camera.
Years later, after being trained as a visual artist, I was into the differences and parallels between drawing and photography. While drawing - that other form of learning - I saw myself as a human camera and tried to copy photos as precisely as possible. I was intrigued by the fact that I had to work for hours or days or weeks on end and would still fail to come anywhere close to what the camera had seen in a split second.
When I redrew a photograph of Susan Sontag - which by the way very much resembled a photo of my mother when she was pregnant with me - I re-experienced something of that primitive power of the image: Susan and I coincided and somewhere inbetween, reality as such was redefined as an object for exhibition.