photofilm








Human perception tends to view 'reality' in self-contained, frozen states as some kind of snapshots [...] We take snapshots, as it were, of the passing reality [...] 

Photography: that has been [...] A photograph contains a moment that we are able to hold in our hands [...] We imagine – inspired by the photo – the future of the past. The photo gives us cause to consider: The past of that which has been, the present of that which has been and the future of that which has been. All have been, all have passed [...]


Film represents something that has been. And yet, paradoxically, we comprehend the moving image sequences as the present. A film always occurs now, because the illusion of movement continually updates and hurls itself anew into the here and now [...With] the photo in film, [...] on the one hand we see the self-contained future of the past of the photo and on the other hand we expect a future of the cinema's present. The photo in a cinematographic context contains all states of time [...]








If you have a photograph in front of you and another one beside it, you automatically begin to search for a connection [...] We automatically search for meaning, yearn for interpretation [...]







The photofilm deconstructs cinema into single frames, language, sound, music – and treats its elements as independent components [...] The photofilm opens up interspaces. The interspaces are [...] 'between the images' and cause the consecutive nature of the filmic in the first place. Between the unmoving images in films, there are blank spaces [...] which are charged up by the imagination. The interspaces in photofilms are just as important as the still images. 'Something always remains hidden, like something always fundamentally hidden in photography' [...] the photofilm makes us sensitive to what is hidden in the moving image and the still image, in language, sound and music [...]



Still images in a film are not so still at all. Within them are rumbling and roaring [...]


The photofilm contains all conceivable times. It can be regarded as the time container for memory and recollection [...] On the silver screen, the photo is opened out in all directions. It inspires us to imagine movement, and thus all layers of time [...]

To remember is already a creative act in which transformations of what one has experienced occur, are reassembled, reorganised [...]







In photofilms, the editing process adds sound, music and language to the photographs; the static images begin to move, even to dance [... Techniques include use of:] 

  •  the agitated image [that] flickers and stutters, but the motion never in fact progresses [...]

  • sound collage
  • [scenes consisting of] two phase images that, edited rhythmically back and forth, create a minimal but tense sense of flinching [...]
  • [a voiceover reflecting on the photograph, context and photographer, possibly introducing fiction or inspiring doubt
  • chronological order or disorder
  • deliberate placing of] filmic images of movement next to photographs [...] as a comparison
  • [looping
  • subtitles]
  • sound and the images are never in sync.The commentary that belongs to one photo already sounds like it has been shifted to the one preceding it. The viewers thus find themselves caught up in a process of recollection and prophesy [...]
  • [filming still images, gliding over them, revisiting them]
  • [a photofilm in which] we are not seeing what is being described [in the voiceover] As time passes, the gulf between what is being said and the event that has occurred becomes greater and greater
  • [film that begins with a moving image of one situation, and then time comes to a standstill and that moment – 3.01pm for example – is explored in multiple still images that depict different places at that moment
  • use of the same place or person, re-photographed over time]










text selected from: Hamos, G, Pratschke, K and Tode, T (2010) Viva Photofilm – Moving/ Non-moving London: Tate
images: visiting cards from around 1910, Florida