COME ON IN MY KITCHEN - THE ROBERT JOHNSON BOOK / HOST DIARY by julia katharina ziegler
published by jrp-ringier / christoph keller editions 2012
Between the seconds.
TEXT BY LENA ELFRATH
“Some more Raki, anyone?” – “You know, back then on that album, was that really your dad?” – “Somehow something made me think of slurry just only.” This is roughly how the talks at Robert Johnson´s dj-dinner can be. As a clubber and friend of Julia for many years, I was given the chance to watch that show several times. And I always tried to figure out how on earth she could keep track of things between extended family chaos, between airport and hotel, soundcheck and clubnight. On closer examination I realized how her camera could achieve omnipresence: not at all. The camera was hardly noticeable. It was not present as an instrument but seemed to me more like an extension of her arm. Attached to and operating like a part of her body. In the past couple of years, Julia concentrated on a technique which she calls “Embedded Photography”. It´s about the photographer being an integrated part of the system. What counts is the person, its role and its relationship to the other actors. For a participant observation, things are important which are not included in any equipment case. Some of these are trust and respect. Anyone who knows Julia well also knows how important both are to her and that she is gifted with the required talent to totally get involved with someone or something. This sensibility is an essential prerequisite for one more key feature in Julia´s approach. She opens up her mind for new circumstances again and again. As a photographer, Julia releases a part of her control and improvisatory uses the fortune and sometimes even the irony that a moment bares. When analog effects and a conscious play with obstacles are used, which are a challenge for photographers in the partysetting, not only a dramatised aesthetic developes. Another friction occurs, one between the moments. Peter Licht sings felicitous about it: ”All that is takes three seconds.” Of these, one comes before, one after and the real one is right in the middle. This is the second when Julia takes her shot. The result, the single picture shows more as the eye can see, namely always the before and the after, even though it is just about a tattered scrap of paper. For me, the conscious, open-minded approach to the current situation is the only appropriate – not only in arts but also in life. The second in its imperfect perfection, its constantly growing richness and recognizing its assumed hindrances as the real – not because it obviously has to be, but because one names it that. Basta. With a flash.