The Man without Quality
Is the restage of Andreas Gursky’s work Untitled XII. Gursky captured four pages from Robert Musil’s novel The Man Without Qualities, which he has digitally altered. Gursky scrambled the text, while sustaining the book’s outward appearance. The text itself is readable but meaningless.
Gursky shows us that in writing, a knowledge of spelling has nothing to do with understanding of poetry, so I was curious about the real content (poetry) written on these pages. I have bought various antiquarian copies of the book and selected page 753 to investigate the original wording, which should tell us about Ulrich, his sister Agathe and the end of the Austrian Hungarian Empire.
But there is another aspect related to my work, the Czech born Philosopher Villem Flusser stated in his book “towards a Philosophy of Photography”, He who writes must master the rules of grammar. He who shoots photographs needs only to follow the instructions as given by the camera.... This leads to the paradox that the more people shoot photographs, the less they are capable of deciphering them.
When people look at my work The Man Without Quality, would they start to read the text? Or would they say, “I see a text but where is the picture”?
In anyway I have restaged a photograph of a phantom, a picture of a non existing page of Robert Musil’s book and transformed it back to reality.