Lichtspur zu Goethe

Eines Tages, vor sehr langer Zeit, stieß ich auf eine Fotografie des jüngsten Bruders von Napoleon, Jérôme (1852). Damals sagte ich mir mit einem Erstaunen, das ich seitdem nicht mehr vermindern konnte: „Ich sehe die Augen, die den Kaiser gesehen haben“. (Roland Barthes in Die helle Kammer, 1980)

Wir halten hier nicht etwa den originalen Abzug einer Fotografie Jérôme Bonapartes in Händen, sondern die von Prof. Carl Adolf Schmidt aus dem Jahr 1881. Die Verbindung reicht somit nicht zu dem großen Kaiser der Franzosen, aber immerhin zum deutschen Dichterfürsten Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Denn Schmidt, geboren 1815, war ein Spielkamerad der Enkel Goethes. Als junger Mann muss er Goethe getroffen haben; verbürgt ist, dass er ihn auf dem Totenbett sah. Später wurde Schmidt Jurist und 1872/73 Dekan der juristischen Fakultät der Universität Leipzig, der er im Jahr 1873/74 als Rektor vorstand.

Unser Blick richtet sich, den Spuren des Lichts folgend, über die Augen Carl Schmidts auf Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

 

 

Die Anfänge der Massenfotografie: Carte de visite

Die Anfänge der Massenfotografie: André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri ließ sich 1854 in Paris ein Verfahren patentieren, bei dem Papierabzüge auf Visitenkarten aus Karton geklebt werden. Außerdem nutzte Disdéri eine Technik, bei dem größere Kollodium-Nassplatten als Negativ mit einer mehrlinsigen Kamera belichtet werden. Dies ermöglichte es, fotografische Porträts preiswerter anzubieten und die Fotografie damit auch weniger betuchten Kreisen zugänglich zu machen.

Im Jahr 1859 besuchte Napoleon III. mit seiner Familie Disdéris Atelier am Boulevard des Italiens, um sich von ihm porträtieren zu lassen. Abzüge des Fotos machten schnell die Runde; daraufhin wollten alle eine sogenannte Carte de visite. Binnen Monaten wurden auch England, Deutschland und die USA von dem CDV-Fieber erfasst, das bis Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts anhalten sollte.

Dieses gut erhaltene Foto unten konnte ich bei einer ebay-Auktion ersteigern. Es zeigt eine Pariser Dame, aufgenommen von Disdéri im April 1860.

Mit fremden Augen – fotografisches Experiment


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Ich habe in meinem Stadtviertel 12 Einwegkameras an mir unbekannte Menschen verteilt. Dabei achtete ich darauf, möglichst unterschiedliche Menschen – alte und junge, Frauen wie Männer und sogar Kinder – einzubeziehen.

Ich bat die Teilnehmer, 27 Fotos (so viele Bilder hat der Film) ihres Alltags zu machen, ohne Vorgaben zu fotografieren „was Ihnen in den Sinn kommt“ und die Kamera dann an einer bestimmten Stelle abzugeben. Über den Hintergrund des Experiments sagte ich nichts.

Hier könnt Ihr Euch den ersten zurückgegebenen Film ansehen – eine ausführliche Projektbeschreibung und -auswertung findet Ihr hier.