A House in Omihachiman: Sixteen Perambulations

Newspaper shreds used to caulk the cracks in the wooden walls of a house in Omihachiman, Japan initiated this series. One of those torn newspaper strips had the German words ‘Die Kultur’ printed on it in Gothic type and must have been glued there in the 1930s.

This unexpected find of historic German traces in an old house in a Japanese village (depicted in the last image of the series) initiated a reflection on how information is forwarded over time, the various transitions and alterations of intended meanings, and the role of the photographic image in formulating narratives of ‘truth’.

The concept of perambulations goes back to the custom of pacing off the boundaries of a parish to re-establish the knowledge of its exact boundary line, long before maps or satellites would provide more precise and reliable information. In my artistic practice, it describes the investigation of a place and its fringes through images of no spatiotemporal coherence, creating a suggested narrative that is (like the ancient perambulations) based on personal claims of truth rather than confirmable facts.

The sixteen photographic perambulations of this series, allegedly performed around the house in Omihachiman invite the viewer to imagine her or his own imaginary map of Omihachiman and the historic and current links connecting the depicted places and events.

At the same time, each photograph contains its own set of, sometimes coded, information open to be read and interpreted by the beholder’s imagination.

The series was (self-)published in a limited edition handmade artist book (see last picture).


Regarding the Residency Bursary at Landskrona Foto, I would use the residency time in Landskrona to create another, Landskrona-specific series of perambulations around a to-be-found significant place in Landskrona, juxtaposing new images from the area with images from the archive, forming the imaginary portrait of that place and its surroundings, according to the strategies of invented narratives.

© Fabian Hammerl - The limited edition self-published artist book containing the series.

The limited edition self-published artist book containing the series.

A House in Omihachiman: Sixteen Perambulations by Fabian Hammerl

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