Sohrab Hura – winner of the Videonale prize of the fluentum collection of the VIDEONALE.17 – condenses in his latest work several years of photographic approach to a very personal subject. Bittersweet's point of departure is his mother's diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, which for Sohrab Hura was also the beginning of his own occupation with the camera as a medium. Hura captures the impressions that this illness leaves on his mother, her domestic environment, and on himself in individual video sequences but especially in individual photographic images. Over a period of almost ten years, we follow the artist into an intimate world of psychological and emotional states, which manifest themselves in faces, gestures, wall structures, homely arrangements, human-animal and human-human relationships. The pictures do not gloss over anything, do not explain anything, are at the same time clear and yet remain vaguely distant. While Hura gives the viewer facts for classifying the images in a voice-over at the beginning, the main part of the work is only accompanied by electronic sounds, which – suggestively, shimmering – accompany his mother's progressive slipping away, which manifests itself in the photographs. The sounds are directly related to eight of the photographs shown here – they were created in the context of an experiment in which Sohrab Hura investigated the relationship between images and sounds. He translated the light and dark nuances of the photographs into individual notations and developed the electronic score from these with the help of a synthesizer. Each notation internalizes the emotional state in which the photographic image was created; together, they form a three-part soundscape that gives the work an inner coherence and structure.
Bittersweet thus also represents the artistic practice that Sohrab Hura has acquired over the years and the skepticism with which he repeatedly encounters this practice and its results, the images. It is never the individual picture in his works that he trusts completely, but always the picture in the context of other pictures, texts, or sounds, which only tell their version of the story in unison and enter into dialogue with the viewer. (Tasja Langenbach)
Images: Sohrab Hura, Bittersweet, 2019 © Sohrab Hura