In Helzles Self Portraits missing the look in the mirror, self configuration seems hidden. Helzle refers to an ancient Indian wisdom: "What you see is what you is" and explored - self-testing - the world. Over a period of 365 days (from May 2010 to May 2011), the artist was trying to break away from the narcissistic self-image and to take his life - every image, every day is a different sensation, a new encounter. Noticeably, the immediacy of his perception. Everything happens - the sky, the clouds, the crucifix, the father. "I want to ask questions," says the artist, "I consider myself a job, so I can ask me questions. Every day I went out and wanted to know it's the same? The flowers, they were close to me in their growth and decay, the shepherd on the Alb, he was so different, separated us much, and yet we are both human. "In the field of tension between the world and the individual Helzle organized duality and bring them into balance , the same look for in the other, the other in the self.
The observer is the observed
In 2010 I studied the work of the great Indian teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti, who in the last century spent 50 years travelling the world with his lectures. In his texts repeatedly appears, that the observer is the observed. I had been thinking about this statement continually: “The Observer is the Observed”. Somehow I understood it, but wanted to know more.
I decided to pick up my camera (the Observer) und took a picture of my surroundings (the Observed) every day. Every day I asked myself what was the same about that. I started to photograph nature around me and at the end of May there was no chance of running out of motives. There was the becoming & the declining, the blossoming, being part of nature the relationship between observer & observed. Quickly & inevitably there first animals joined motifs and then the first person: the shepherd on the meadow round the corner. What now? He is certainly not me. He is a different person. What could Krishnamurti have meant here? Did he mean, that we both had not invented our brains, not the upright walk? That we breathe the same air, that we grew up in the same cultural surroundings? That we both share a human nervous system, which has developed over millions of years to its current state?
While visiting the old army practice area Muensingen – on account of it becoming a nature reservoir - I encountered the Museum of munitions. Without doubt, I had to take a picture there. What has this projectile on the wall to do with me? Somebody who has refused military service and can’t understand why people kill each other? That is a tough call, dear Jiddu. Am I the observed, because I am German and these weapon systems were made in Germany? Am I this projectile, because I travel on a road that has been build with taxes, including from the defence industry? Am I part of a humanity where everything humanly possible is possible and by being human I am connected to it all?
You can see it was a very interesting journey through the year, unbelievably enriching. When I had the opportunity to show all this pictures in an exhibition in Stuttgart another dimension was added. Several visitors asked me about individual motifs und I could tell a story about every picture. I noticed that a diary had been created, which with each photograph told a story of a day in my life. And - summed up in a picture - becomes a kind of history and valuable. This demonstrates the values of the authentic picture.