A project by Void.
The background of the project is Franz Kafka’s short story ‘A Hunger Artist’
that tells the story of a starving artist that keeps
his practice with the same (or maybe more) passion
even after the public’s interest diverges to different and new forms of amusement.
You are a photographer.
You are a starving artist.
The art you chose is, as a starting point, a practice that had its golden days in past times. Its very own status as art is sometimes put in check. The hype and the new forms of art and amusement might divert part of the crowd’s interest away.
Even though it is each time more difficult to define what is “photography”, if you define yourself as a “photographer”, you are doing it for passion and necessity.
Hunger artists don’t choose to do their art. They must do it. For themselves. For their passion.
7 issues of a newspaper were released each six weeks, from MARch to november ‘18.
An epilogue was launched in JUN ‘19.
In 1922, franz kafka wrote a short story called ‘A Hunger Artist’ (‘Ein Hungerkünstler’).
The story looks back several decades from when it was written, at a time when the public marveled at professional hunger artist – a public performers who fasted for long periods of time. These incredible artists had their glory days. Whole cities used to gather to watch them perform at the limits of human capabilities.
“So he lived for many years, [...] in visible glory, honored by the world, yet in spite of that troubled in spirit, and all the more troubled because no one would take his trouble seriously. What comfort could he possibly need? What more could he possibly wish for?”
But time passed. New and more exciting forms of amusement appeared. People were no longer interested in seeing other fast. It was, all of a sudden, the down fall of the starving artist.
“[...] it seemed to happen almost overnight; there may have been profound causes for it, but who was going to bother about that; at any rate the pampered hunger artist suddenly found himself deserted one fine day by the amusement seekers, who went streaming past him to other more favored attractions. [...] everywhere, as if by secret agreement, a positive revulsion from professional fasting was in evidence.”
The starving artist, instead of looking for another way of living, didn’t let his art die. He didn’t do it for the crowd. He didn’t do it for the fame. He starved because that was his art. And he had to do it.
“What, then, was the hunger artist to do? He had been applauded by thousands in his time and could hardly come down to showing himself in a street booth at village fairs, and as for adopting another profession, he was not only too old for that but too fanatically devoted to fasting. So he took leave of the impresario, his partner in an unparalleled career, and hired himself to a large circus;”
He was finally set free to perform as he wanted, with no borders or limits.
“[...] He even alleged that if he was allowed to fast as he liked, [...] he could astound the world by establishing a record never yet achieved, a statement which certainly provoked a smile among the other professionals, since it was left out of account the change in public opinion, which the hunger artist in his zeal conveniently forgot.”
More days went by, however, and that too came to an end. He was found dead in his cage.
“Well, clear this out now!” said the overseer, and they buried the hunger artist, straw and all. Into the cage, they put a young panther. Even the most insensitive felt it refreshing to see this wild creature leaping around the cage that had so long been dreary. The panther was all right.”
‘Hunger’ is a project in 7 chapters
34 x 50 cm
Edition of 300
Hunger 1 – 40 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83318-4-6
Hunger 2 – 40 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83318-6-0
Hunger 3 – 44 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83318-7-7
Hunger 4 – 40 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83825-1-0
Hunger 5 – 44 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83825-3-4
Hunger 6 – 44 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83825-4-1
Hunger 7 – 44 pages – ISBN: 978-618-83825-8-9