At the age of 16 Jessica Backhaus began her studies as a photographer. Her passion drew her to Paris and New York. Her frame contains the pulse of lost narrative. Looking at each image is like looking at the residue of stories already unfolded or stories that have already collapsed underneath themselves to leave a print. This print is what might have been or what was already there; but you’re not quite sure which it is.
Many images are void of people. There are hanging objects, frozen light against built objects, floating objects, gathered objects and folded objects. Each object has made its trace and leaves one wondering: whose body has weighed on that bed? whose hot breath has stained that window? whose lost fingertips stapled in those Christmas lights? and whose hands picked up that wallpaper at a department store?
Tension is evident and layered; her images capture your breath for just a moment and then allows it to dissipate. They are images that keep me looking for awhile because there’s no lecture in them and nothing obvious to tell. They just ‘are’ and they carry presence with a complexity that KEEPS you LOOKING.
Below are images from three series: What Still Remains, One Day in November, Jesus and the Cherries
Jessica’s One Day in November series is dedicated to her long time friend and fellow photographer Gisèle Freund. Read her essay about the series here.