Pinholes [2006/2007]

A pinhole camera is a very simple camera with no lens and a single very small aperture. Simply explained, it is a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. Cameras using small apertures and the human eye in bright light both act like a pinhole camera.

I’ve been taking pictures with homemade cameras for one year. My main interest was the technical side of the production: how you make the camera, how you load a film cassette, how the way the camera is constructed influences the images you get. I’ve never aimed at finding some specific plot or an extraordinary object to take a picture of. I had my camera with me at all times and when I remembered about it I just took it out of my pocket and took a picture. My cameras were of extremely low quality. So all the images were blurred and difficult to read. It was hardly possible to subject them to any kind of rationalization such as chronological order. Due to the technical peculiarity of the camera, the plot in the pictures was reduced to some amorphous situation with no recognizable scenario or actors.

This project was concluded with the construction of a cubical-shaped cardboard pinhole camera 2 meters in length, width and height. To be able to take a picture with such a camera I had to place myself inside it and stay there for about 8 hours until the exposure process had been finished. This was necessary for a certain technical reason, i.e. to install and then deinstall photo-sensitive paper. This technical necessity maximized the play of presence/absence, which was a further step to the creation of some autonomous and objective machine for making prints of the reality.

I first tested this camera by taking a picture from the window of my friend’s workshop. Then I installed it in the gallery, placed myself inside it a few hours before the opening of the exhibition and stayed there for about 8 hours. This picture of the exhibition space during the opening was exhibited the next day in the same gallery.

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