“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Frank Darius
Frank Darius’ work is characterised by its response to one of the central questions in contemporary art, namely how and why something deserves to be seen and engaged with. He answers this question by finding things that are worthy of being seen. In other words, the humour and originality of his photographs find a hold in the actual situation and reference it: the significance of the scene does not require laborious staging. In his book, Tunichtgut (which roughly translates as “up to no good”), Frank Darius subtly narrates a story. His subjects are not theoretically determined positions, but signposts of his own concern, albeit a very
unsentimental concern. It is no surprise that they do not lead the viewer straight to the target. Often criss-crossed by side paths and distracted by a fearless gaze at the places of others, Frank Darius’ approach is remarkably consistent and promising because he refuses to let himself be guided by dogmas masquerading as anti-dogmatic positions. Perhaps one could understand “Tunichtgut” as meaning that Darius refuses to cater to demands or readings that seek to attach an “aesthetic” label to his work, and he certainly ignores their demands for terribilis gestures. One expects a Tunichtgut to continually snub the many different demands as to how we wish to see the world today. His talent extends as far as the Taugenichts – the Good-For-Nothing, the hero of a novella by one of Germany’s greatest romantic poets. Just like this iconic character, Darius wanders the world, finding a reality that is simultaneously poetry; poetry that, in turn is entitled to lay claim to the status of reality – preserved in the ephemeral, enclosed in the diversity of the myths of everyday life.