The reality of perception

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. Henry David Thoreau

As I am currently spending my time in Switzerland, I have left my paint brushes behind and have focused on creating works with my camera.  I like using photography as a visual language, as it allows me to ‘sketch’ quickly and I do not need a lot of studio space to finish the compositions.

During my stay I have been reading books that explore the perception of reality. This includes works by Paulo Coelho, Norbert Bischof and Horst Herrmann plus I have been able to add a couple of Chinese and Japanese poetry books to my collection. The one thing that these books all have in common, is that they challenge our understanding of what is ‘real’.  As Albert Einstein put it, ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.’ 

Working with a camera also gives the illusion of being real; the camera as a witness, the camera never lies!  This is of course a paradox, as the camera only produces an abstraction of the real and thus only leaves an impression of what the photographer has selected.   A viewer of the image will bring his/her own perception of reality to the work and the reading of the image changes again.

The works that I have produced so far, use the camera as an unreliable witness and explore this shift in reality.  I have devised a formula that can be used to interpret the images:

Time + Space + Perception = Reality

 I am now starting to curate the works and explore the narrative possibilities by juxtaposing the images.  The resulting story-line will always be a personal one.

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About Roman W. Schatz

Roman W. Schatz is a Swiss photographer based in Australia. A frequent traveller, Roman has a particular interest in capturing time and place. Using the visual language of the photographic image, he believes that art is an international language that can be used to communicate the humanity that unites us all.

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