In this series my intention was to evoke the city in the frame of a day and a night (24hrs)
Walking with my camera from dusk till dawn dawn till dusk. … the rising of the sun sunset .. nightfall . A fixed time frame and season , attempting to reveal
the cosmological vastness that envelopes the city through diurnal incidents . I have not presented the work publicly I envisage a frieze or panarama of small
format prints that reflect the circular motion of the earth.
One forseeable development to these intial works will be to collaborate with the Indian writer Raj Kamal Jha , combining his writings and deambulations with
my photos. This experiment could Possibly extend to working in both to Dheli and Berlin.
The bearable lightness of being
The photographs by Stephen Wilks display the playfulness and creativity of man, as well as that of animals, nature and thing.
Identical cherries are tattooed on a pair of women’s legs. One extra leg ‘n cherries and she’s hit the jackpot. Dreadlocks swirl upwards in a high knot, parabolic antennas are scattered over an apartment building like sequins on a dress. Nature is playing tricks too. Tree trunks imitate alligators, a wave does the same and another tree pretends to be a pair of pants. Sometimes man, animal, nature and objects make a two- or threesome. The clouds that hover in the sky imitate the smoke that could come out of the chimneys.
In another photograph a cloud mocks the heavy load of a crane. A streetgrill is collecting pebbles and in another photograph it seems to collect coins in its grid. Three in a row? Chess? What are the rules of this secret game? There’s no hierarchy between people, animals, plants and stuff. There’s a touch of shamanism in Wilks’ photographs. Stuff has a mind and will of its own. Like the red balloon in the featurette by the same name by Albert Lamorisse (1956). A young boy discovers on his walk to school a mysterious red balloon. It doesn’t take long before the boy realises it’s not just any balloon. When it rains the balloon wants to shelter under the umbrella and when the balloon is banned from the house by the boy’s mother, it floats in front of his bedroom window. The artist works in several media, he tends to work in one medium at the time. He keeps them separate In order to stay focused.
Nevertheless some parallels can be drawn. The play with hierarchy, in particular the reversal of it, can also be found in his drawings and sculptures, especially in the body of work titled Animal Farm. People carry animals, animals carry other animals, but never do animals carry people. Playfulness is another feature in his work. It plays a part in various ways: there’s the playful behaviour of the creatures he draws, the playful manner in which the artist applies his techniques and there’s the playful associations and connections in his drawings and sculptures. One moment everything comes together, the next moment it falls apart. It’s gone, reshaped, scattered, shattered, blown away or burst.
The majority of the photographs are taken on his long walks through hometown Berlin. Serendipity sets the pace. Like a true flâneur, the artist is attuned to the moment. Although in a meditating, pondering mindset, he’s alert to the situation. Some of his best photos came out of the blue. The albatross around his neck (his Nikon digital camera with zoom lense)
It makes me realise that it all boils down to the bearable lightness of being. Even for Lenin who frowns to the
coloured balloons attached to his fist. Life can be as simple as that.