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Peter's essay on children and family pictures by Uwe Kranner

I have no idea whether Uwe believes in a kingdom of heaven. In any case, from the many snippets of conversation I have figured out that he is probably not a real Bible freak (like me). Not only because of that, and not only because we have gotten used to teasing each other a little over the last few months of studying together at the photo academy and because it is my essay: It is the first thing that came to my mind when I saw these children's pictures: The well-known passage (is it still known?) from the Gospel of Matthew: “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Then he called a child, put him in their midst and said: Amen, I tell you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

I met Uwe at the academy and at Café Fotter, we first met by chance, then increasingly on purpose. He stood out as a critical head, shall we say, one already understood that he does not fully agree with everything that is "mainstream" in society and education. Later I got to know his main photographic work. They were photos of pure, almost untouched nature (yes, there is such a thing, you just have to get up very early and then lie in the damp bushes for five hours to see it). The photos were all very good. What appealed to me most was the stillness in which they were created and which resonates in them. But well, I'm just not that into nature that has been photographed, at least landscapes and animals and flowers and dewdrops are more my thing live and not something that I'm interested in as a viewer as if by myself. I almost always need an explanation so that something stirs in me and I am ready to enter such a world of images.   The turning point - from friendly respect among fellow students to photographic soul mates (that's the word Uwe introduced to our relationship), all in just a single blink of an eye. An online event, and I don't even know anymore whether Uwe showed a portrait to the group there or whether I just casually visited his homepage. There look! Real people in natural postures and in their usual everyday environment! Timelessly valid faces and people in relation to each other, in looks and gestures and in general. Without make-up, always in a light that God made and not the studio flash. I don't need an introduction to the kind of naturalness and nature, I step in and feel good. And so I wished that he should please show me that too. Voila!


  I like the photo with the mother and her daughter best. Ok, of course I don't know if this and/or the other photos are of families. At least that's what they evoke in me, an image of a clear world in which there is security, interest in one another, security, but also room for individual development. Even though I know that there is no causal connection, it is precisely this word "family" that triggers me. And so, through these photos, I understand better what Uwe stands for, what he is fighting for, what his vision is. And the combativeness of the words comes together with these peaceful, hopeful images.  Let's go back to the beginning. Of course I don't know at all whether these pictures have anything to do with reality. I wish these people from the photos that make me want to get to know them better. I am happy that however it is, in me, the viewer, this picture is created. The vision of an ideal world, so - in my terminology - a kind of heaven. 

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