These images are part of a project of over two years now and it started in a school for children with different degrees of
learning difficulties, asperger, autism and trauma in Duisburg/Germany. Its within an area with a lot of social problems
and this school, which will be closed this year due to the new inclusion scheme, is a place where such problems resurface
quite significantly. There are „overlooked“ individuals within our society and who become more and more neglected by the
mechanisms and dynamics of our system.
Who gives them a position of expressing or even the possibility of just being for the purpose of being?
There is a sense of deep respect and humbleness which I feel. I don‘t want to exploit the children, but to give them a visual
voice which will have strong echoes of importance in a manner which is solely grounded within their own history, appearance
and inner circumstances.
First there is the process of involvement. I did have to integrate myself with empathy and curiosity. At the same time I have
to keep my focus on my visual sensitivity. To achieve a kind of symbiosis between emotional integrity, responsibility
and the ability to „find“ those images which are able to transcend dignity which stems from the person photographed is no
easy task at all and can only be described superficially with words.
I am very specific in choosing my subject in order to understand it I want to get into it as deep as possible and I believe in
doing so it will be of more significance.
These images are metaphors and documents at the same time as they oscillate between the reality of the representative and
the reality of the image which the photograph does present. There is this invisible connection between the reality which was
there while taking the photograph and the final image. In so far I believe that the process of photographing is as important
as the resulting image. One can‘t exist without the other in my work.
„The photographs of Heiko Tiemann are eminently silent.
The observation of the photographer by his subjects takes the form of a kind of meditation, the pursuit of a certain compliance
that needs no words. The children seem both intrigued by the interest that they provoke, and determined to react with all the
presence they are capable of, that is to say a presence full of modesty, of hesitations, of a need for sympathy, or of defiance. The
photographer reinforces their positioning in space by
the rigour of stable compositions, by architectural elements, by the objects which surround them and which seem to support them
Here it is a question of fragility, and it is along this fine line that the photographer positions himself.
Fragility in the decision to open oneself to the scrutiny of others, fragility in the link between he who lets himself be seen and he
who looks, fragility implied in the photographic act. The images reproduce at one and the same time the quantity of precautions
and the accumulation of uncertainties that surround these children, in a captivating metaphor on their situation, faced with life.“
(text by Christian Maccotta)