Sleep is a mystery. Every day we lay down in a dark room and remain silent, with our eyes closed, acting as if we were dead. But we aren’t. We dream. And experience the wildest, funniest, sometimes horrifying and sometimes the most beautiful adventures. Until the alarm clock rings. Waking up is one of the most beautiful and irritating moments in life. We re-emerge in the world of the living. And sometimes, if only for a few seconds we are not quite sure who we are or where we are. For this short period of time we are in a kind of „twilight zone“ between sleeping and not being really awake. It’s a very special moment you cannot “create”. It’s just there.
„Up, up, you rabbits, don’t you hear the hunter blowing?“ When we were children every Sunday my father woke us up with those words. At the time, my brother and I hated that. But only briely! Because a few hours later when we explored Austria’s forests together our father took us from one adventure to the next. We both are very grateful for this wonderful childhood.
40 years later with me being a photographer now it all starts to evolve into an art-project. It startet about two years ago. I was visiting my brother in Vienna and I was already awake when he entered the guest room where I had slept. He had obviously just woken up because he was looking so funny, so charming, so gentle – he was still in his „twilight zone“. I immediately said: „Wait, I’ll be back in a second!“. I grabbed my camera, went back and shot two portraits of him. The first of those two was ‘it’. That captured all of what I had seen and loved – and much more. Still today it makes me happy when I see this photograph. There’s so much intimacy, beauty, so much life in it. The power of this moment, of this interaction, of this photograph, has never quite left me. It’s the power of „I’m here“, but without wearing the first mask of the day, without playing the first of our roles in our everyday lives. This led to my first exhibition with photographs of my family and friends just after they woke up. The exhibition took place in Berlin on April 7th 2017 at the „Grafenfels Manufaktur“, a manufacturer of handcrafted mattresses.
FUTURE: THE WORK „I HAD A DREAM“
Now it’s time for the next step: To get out to the world with this idea and make a work out of it by portraying complete strangers waking up in their hotel rooms. Hotels are special places. There people who don’t know each other share a place. They get together in one house, share good times, sleep under the same roof and wake up in a room where the day before a complete stranger woke up. I want to cordially invite every guest who is interested in this special moment to share that experience with me by shooting a portrait of her or him – immediately after waking up in his or her room. The Circus Hotel Berlin was the first hotel to participate in this fascinating project in September 2017.
I want to catch the beauty of life, the beauty of people not yet wearing their first “mask of the day” and share these beautiful images with the world at an exhibition of the best photographs as framed FineArt-prints in the lobby of the hotel.
Besides that I would love the guests to share that very special experience with their friends and family when returning back home to maybe make this world a better place.