Minimalism

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In her monthly photo challenge, Paleica suggests we show some Magical Minimalism. Setting aside the magic, what’s minimalism? People knowing my pictures may be surprised I ask this  – but I am not a Minimalist. It is true that I often make use of a somewhat minimalistic approach to show what I have in mind: Minimalism always was a means for me, not an end…

I enjoy listening to minimal music, so let me focus on that. It can be highly hypnotic, and some of my favourite pieces – like Louis Andriessen’s Hoketus – make you wonder what you really hear. Hoketus is played by two small groups of musicians. Both groups play highly repetitive patterns – there are not even really melodies during the first few minutes. But as you keep listening to both ‘sides’, melodies seem to evolve.

It takes all the concentration you can muster to actually hear what the respective groups of play… I think Hoketus points to the basic elements of music such as pitch, timbre, and rhythm.

Without having done any reading on the topic, I would like to try and induce what Minimalism for the sake of Minimalism might be: A specific attempt to highlight (and question) the material or elements  used in the art work.

Now the first ‘element’ that comes to mind when we talk about photography is light. Here’s what I found when I tried to work my way from this starting point.

Here is an article on Minimalism I read after writing these lines. It is in German – but it seems to confirm some of my thoughts (for example, about materiality), so I thought I’d link to it for those of my readers who speak German.

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14 thoughts on “Minimalism

  1. Paula

    I was intrigued so I looked and listened to Hoketus. You are provoking me to think further and to explore. I think you will like my “deconstruction” idea that is scheduled for a Thursday in September 🙂

    Reply
    1. tms Post author

      I love deconstruction (though I do not really understand Derrida) – hope I’ll be able to participate. So, did “Hoketus” do anything for/to you? Thanks for the comment!

    2. Paula

      I will make Deconstruction post very simple and hopefully encourage the usual number of people to participate. My approach is simple without going into details of Derrida’s ideas. Hoketus was like a meditation tool for me; helped clear my mind.

    3. tms Post author

      That piece of music works similarly for me – though I have to be open for it (if everything else annoys me, so will “Hoketus”).

    4. Paula

      You need to be in the right frame of mind. Well, yes. We can’t expect wonders even from music.

  2. Paleica

    interessante gedanken und spannender zugang. ich dachte schon, dass das thema für dich eine gewisse besondere herausforderung darstellt 🙂 in der musik ertrage ich minimalismus ehrlich gesagt gar nicht, in der fotografie mage ich diese motive unheimlich gern.

    Reply
    1. tms Post author

      …ja, für minimalistische Musik ist so eine Sache. Ich muss dafür schon in der Stimmung sein, sonst nervt sie.

      Ich finde es interessant, mich mit Minimalismus als Thema auseinanderzusetzen – zumal mir Minimal Art nicht immer etwas sagt. Aber das ändert sich gerade.

    2. Paleica

      ich finde das immer spannend, wie man auf einmal durch die auseinandersetzung mit dingen den blickwinkel ändert…

  3. monisertel

    Hallo Tobias,
    perfekt umgesetzt!
    Das erste Bild ist spannend, gibt Denkanstöße, die Bildaufteilung wirkt anregend.
    Das zweite Foto ist Minimalismus in Perfektion, besser gehts für mich nimmer, Gratulation!
    Angenehmen Wochenstart
    moni

    Reply
    1. tms Post author

      Liebe Moni, Deine Kritiken sind toll! Vielen Dank dafür. Für mich konstruieren beide Bilder Räume und stellen sie zugleich in Frage: Ist da wirklich Raum…? Aber vielleicht sehe das nur ich (so). Dir auch einen angenehmen Wochenstart! tms

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