Places to Forget

  • 17/10 – 30/11/2013
  • Arthobler Gallery
  • Zürich CH
There are some places that seem to carry imprints of past events more than others. I have in mind neither just spiritualist stories nor documentaries of actual things which really happened there. Rather, it’s about imaginary (invocative) presence, when the viewer is a co-creator of what might have happened, when the architecture, the play of light and shadows, or some detail, triggers a chain of associative readings, finalizing an event in retrospect, planting it in a place that calls for it, where it might belong.
I took photos of such places for a long time, places towards which my imagination developed a somewhat equivocal attitude (starting with those I remembered from my childhood and which were of special importance to me). Later on social networks I discovered that a multitude of people tries to put together similar evidence and I have even borrowed some now and then…
Derelict factories and collapsed garden sheds, places no one was inclined to maintain for years, where nothing happened for a long time. These are places doomed to oblivion, anything could have or can happen there, I let them lead me, they mingle with my dreams and memories, and keep changing, disintegrating, and assembling into something else while I work on my paintings. Lots of places and lots of stories, the figures often turning their back on us, as if we too were part of the scene that we observe. Sometimes they look outside from the paintings, as if the most important things were happening beyond the image.

Josef Bolf
Inventory before Disappearance