Der Duft des Westens (The Scent of the West)

2007-10
C-prints, décollage, advertising slogans on paper
20cm x 20cm/8″ x 8″each

Der Duft des Westens/The Scent of the West is based on advertising and its mostly indirect, suggestive impact on the viewer. Oftentimes this will occur by accidentally catching a slogan on the billboards of urban everyday life. One’s gaze might only have lingered on a poster for mere seconds and already a subliminal desire has been caused. The desire of “want to have”.
In my work I have transformed the subliminal perception into something conscious. For three years I have roamed city streets to let slogans impact me, to write them down. That is how this project slowly took shape.
The billboards that I documented, I photographed at night. The ones that in the darkness would catch your eye with their bright lights. Those ads whose slogans awaken our yearnings. The ones that will again turn us into hunters.
But what happens if we imagine the ad without the product itself? When we keep the slogan in our mind and try to create a shape for the desire within ourselves, when we try to find an answer to this yearning for ourselves? What happens if we refuse to accept the dream world that we are offered, but instead allow our own fantasies some space?

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