Wolfgang is 50 years old. He told me in April 2013 that he has colon cancer. I suggested that I accompany him to the hospital and photograph him there and also in his home.
At the hospital, the ritual is always the same: blood test, waiting room, consultation with his doctors, chemotherapy, sometimes he has a radiotherapy, sometimes an MRI. "Everything I've done and how I have lived, does it have to bring me here? What's the point of being sick?" he told me in the waiting room.
At home, I found Wolfgang surrounded with items he could not throw away. I made him pose for me in this methodically arranged mess for only a few minutes, because he was too weak.
This confusion between posing in his apartment and time spent at the hospital brings a very personal vision of the end of his existence, loneliness and death.
[To my brother Stéphane]
"The images of short scenes fit together, compliment each other and outline a narrative that is at the heart of the first act of photography. Observe death as life at work. The character which we meet is being treated in hospital, but this story, fairly widespread, of human suffering is not sufficient to identify further the singular dimensions. And Tony Kunz transgresses with a playful and paradoxical happiness in such circumstances, the codes of the patient portrait. He places his character on other stages of existence. And what a surprise to discover his tub of Diogenes, where he poses helmeted. The provocation is happy and seems to feed the playful cynicism of the Greek philosopher. But the metaphorical burden of these images is of size as to consider this order is of considerable disorder specific to the disruption of a whole universe, of a lifetime.
Serious masked face and serious silent presence. Then jump again to another dimension of the staging, intended by the character maybe, the enigma of the pact signed between the photographer and the man remains. This one is lying on his back in nature and holds in his hand what is to be a remote trigger of a possible camera. Is it therefore a self-portrait device that captures Tony Kunz? The man lying down sets fire to himself, him theone then sees all wreathed in smoke? What fantasy feeds this game, if not of children whose games have a taste of innocence, the only way to defeat the time that abuses of bodies and spirits, final parade to keep at a right distance in a spectral mirror the death that comes and goes. To ward off the fear of the Wolf? "
Jean Perret - Photo columnist in La Couleur des Jours
EXHIBITION + PRICE
LAURÉAT DU PRIX FOCALE - VILLE DE NYON 2016
Galerie Focale, Nyon, Switzerland
06.11.2016 - 18.12.2016
20x24cm, 80 pages, 57 images in color, numeric print
First edition 2016. Edition of 150, signed and numbered by the author
Foreword by Jean Perret. Designed by Jana & Jean-Marie Delafontaine, studio Kulzivar
Translated by Katerina Kunz. Texts in English and French
Self-published Double K