‘I Live Therefore I Am’. Translating words into photos


we translate our thoughts into words.
what if we translated our words into photos?


Yes, this, too, is a photo project. It has something in common with the other projects I’ve made so far, yet it is quite unique in itself. This one is about what people say, and how their words can be translated into photos.

When we talk or write, most of the time we make up our own words. Or, if we don’t, we borrow from somebody or something the words we speak, by quoting a song, a book, or any other form of written or oral speech we come across at some point in our lives.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The fact that we borrow some of our words from elsewhere does not make us less ourselves. What makes us ourselves is the words we choose to borrow, who we borrow them from, what they say to us, and why.

So our speech is the result of what we see, what we hear, what surrounds us, what we feel. It’s a patchwork of words, thoughts, memories, statements… It’s a bit like the wood inlays that were so popular in the 16th century, where pieces of wood of different colours were inserted into a wood surface, thus forming a more or less intricate design.

Some of the texts, statements and/or comments written or made by some of the people I know I somehow remembered over time. For each person I’ve therefore picked a few of these texts and statements, alongside quotes from songs and/or books they mentioned at some point. Then, to each of them I’ve matched one of my photos.

So while edition no. 1 of ‘Pictures of You’ was all about me describing people using photographs, this time it’s the very people who ‘describe’ themselves using the very words they spoke (or typed).

And, yes, technically I do play a role in this project, because the photos that make up the booklets are mine, and I am the one who chose which photos to match with each quote. However, it’s the people themselves that have ‘written’ the project. I have only put the pieces together.

While the other ‘Pictures of You’ projects were carried out in one go, this one has come to life over the course of months, between April and December 2019. So far I’ve made five booklets for five people. However, the project is still ongoing, and more booklets might come in the future.

Cube, P, David, Mis, Bobby – As I always say at this point, sorry for dragging you into this without you knowing. This project I am especially fond of, and I’m happy you didn’t mind that I ‘used’ your words and thoughts to make it happen. Thank you for sharing so many of them with me.

The most personal, intimate and subjective photos and captions have intentionally been omitted from the selection of images included in this post.

2 Replies to “‘I Live Therefore I Am’. Translating words into photos”

  1. Erica Judes

    Gone through these such lovely photos. You photos are worth for telling that what you want to say exactly. Amazing and motivational thoughts are written in them. Good to see that all stuff.


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