Symbolist Photography Manifesto

The repertoire of forms and shapes of a symbolist photographer encompasses the depiction of theatrical and monumental elements, aestheticism and originality. Opulence is contrasted with simplicity. The surprise about the connection between seemingly incompatible objects forms the basis of an extraordinarily good photograph. The photographic presentation of unconscious worlds, whose enticement is based on irritation and amazement, is the ‘breeding ground’ for the symbolist photographer. The inner state of the soul is always the beginning and the end of a work which is not marked by superficiality. The mystic dream world and the well founded doubts concerning one’s chosen method should always be felt and made visible. The aesthetic, sentimental value and a philosophical understanding of the final objective are the foundation a symbolist photographer builds on. This photographic art is meant to touch the contemplating beholder emotionally.
For abstract symbolist photography, the following applies: to have intuitive units of information melt into each other in a manner which disregards all rules, the objective being the presentation of a heterogeneous overall conception. Whereas, by the omission of the central perspective, the images lose the character of an exact depiction, they gain independence and self assertion. Colours may act out their quality as colours and are not just a means to paint landscapes and objects. The sheer intensity and deception of the areas of the picture must impress the onlooker. Necessary figurative elements are detached to make them visible. Sublimation in art photography plays a dematerialising, refining role in the method, in which the motif of the sublime continues to act.
The artistic development should act rapidly in the spontaneous decisions, and be irretrievable in its origin.
Works in an analogous and digital form, whether edited or not, have their justification as long as they originate from a photograph.

The world of thoughts of a symbolist photographer in aphorisms

The combination of the hundredths of a second of taking a photo and the time consuming subsequent editing is one closed system.

The artistic process is purer and more exciting than the expected result

The art is to try to suit yourself and others.

The love of kitsch is the cleverness to put all things good and evil into an attractive light.

My heart is unable to translate it.

Even the wise do not always comprehend the intention.

The wave of reason ebbs away in the crowd.

Behaviour may be unprofessional, but the works  are not

Once turned to poetry, one will always look for self-fulfilment in the perfect word. If one fails, then what? Observe and be amazed

The first attempt to bring something to paper often ends in euphoria - whereas it is only dilettantism.

The beauty of the individual is in the eye of the beholder.

Try to express yourself beyond your level without appearing ridiculous.

People’s thoughts are the only thing honest.

Errors are often amusing and at the same time the way to success

We are exactly what we have decided to be

The passage from water to air will always be fascinating.

I try to compose the colour in my photographs as perfectly as possible. The connection between colour and composition may raise enthusiasm.

One must never stop doubting oneself. As long as this is the case, one is still alive.

The easiest way to avoid responsibility is not to remember anything.

„Unbound by rules and laws.

Sleep is the only true way to relax and be free of sorrows without thinking of the consequences.

The originality of an image outweighs its quality.

Sometimes art should be called banal, common and vulgar.

Intuitive improvisation, the secret of the genius.

Dedicating oneself to what requires dedication at the moment is a pure form of art.

The style remains the same. The visual language is temporary. Only the stupid are not able to change their opinion.

You haven’t got a chance, so take it.

The image is done when the basic idea is completely changed.

Rich is he who knows that he has got enough.

A genuine portrait should never show clothing, but only naked skin.

Only by trained versatility can the way lead to success.

Art is liked, needed, rejected and in the best case loved, and yet it is nothing but the talented, emotional grouping of units of information.

Nobody listens to nobody.

One is more likely crazy than chosen.

The present moment is to be strived for.

Going to the limit is the only and honest form of survival.

You must have the courage to completely reject pre-conceived notions and create your own true piece of art.

Who walks the artistic tightrope can do this on a completely aesthetic level.

The zest for creating one’s own scenario is infinite.

To recognize that situations and things belong together.

There is nothing better for an artist than to be copied and be the original that is processed further. Anybody saying the opposite is a liar.

One cannot avoid working with the attributes of a woman in order to create serious art.

If a non-academic, impressively talented artist stands out for continuing originality and authenticity, it is considered as normal and the originality and singularity are thus lost.

Many important artistic trends definitely flow into each other. Both with regard to the contents and to the large number of protagonists.

The artistic process consciously or unconsciously shows you the many decades of artistic development which influence the creative.

The balance of a work of art is naturally asymmetrical.

You must express your own art clearly by short, descriptive, meaningful and honest words. Even the intended exaggeration has to be consistent with your own view.

The virtue of the devil is in his loins.

Inconsequence is the liberation of the spirit.

Lust cannot be controlled, it cannot be calculated nor is it selfish. It emerges from forbidden curiosity, or from missed irretrievable opportunities which could - in an abstract manner - have helped the individual to reach their goal.

If you release this lust and project it without inhibitions onto an object, an unforeseeable emotional construct is developed at the same time, which contradicts your assumed singularity, spreads without boundaries and gives birth to forbidden fantasies without burdening them with fear of consequences.

The manifesto does not establish rules. It shall make collective individuality possible.

Paul Landl