The starting point for Elmar Mauch’s book are private photos—found and collected—each of which were made at one time or another for personal reasons, be it for the sake of remembering, as a portrayal, or for evidence. In the meantime, their audience is gone, they have been orphaned, and their emotional context has been lost.
Elmar Mauch administers to these photographic testimonials of life lived—he collects and inspects them, posing questions. By constructing sequences of images and making associations, he establishes new pictorial spaces and spaces of thought, in which the intuitive insights gained by questioning the pictures become apparent. His interest is thereby not focused on the best photo, but rather on the mysteries and historical backgrounds of the photographic images. In certain respects, he is an iconologist and phenomenologist who inspects subjects of the same image “species,” investigating their effects and making them discernable by means of an artistic process.
Die Bewohner (The residents) combines photographic episodes of the lives of unknown people who are long gone into a lyrical photo essay. Now the photographs, which once had a separate existence, are no longer anonymous—they act together and thereby revive visual memories from deep within us.