A failed meeting with Hynes-Allen brings insight into his oeuvre:"
I make an appointment to meet with Hynes-Allen at the center of Alexanderplatz, at the concrete fountain with heavy metal butterfies which bring to mind the flowers Andy Warhol’s mother once wrought from tin cans to sell door to door. The lively human detritus of this Resterampe focuses around me as the instinctive pulses of collective human life. The physical movements of a woman playing with a ball attract a towering and emaciated man with long, greasy black hair. He prances into and colonizes the female juggler’s orbit. With his loopy movements bespeaking a lack of core long given up to the god Addiction, he appropriates her ball and throws it up in a pantomime of her cloying sense of innocent play. He is the subject as portrayed by August Sander which destroys the stereotype by completely fulfilling it, posing within a collapsed space between viewer and viewed. In both the Hynes-Allen and Sanders portrait, it is in this space as non-space where the subject cannot be destroyed by his image, where the stereotype is so cleanly rubbed blank by the evil of addiction (in Sander’s case to the cult of personage, in Hynes-Allen’s case to the identification with the institution which destroys), that this form of evil is negated as such. As such Sanders’ ‘Persecuted Jew’ and ‘Nazi’ are equivalent, just as Hynes-Allen’s massive figure of the ‘Grandmother posing before a staircase’ is equivalent to his picture of the toothless man twisting his face trying to handle the sociopathic lens of the camera which mirrors back as the distortion of the distortion. It is the viewer who pays for the moment of recognition forced from the inner chasms of prejudice and social class hatred as the dark truth of the enlightened self, namely as the experiencing of a regressive moment which is realized as that which finally cannot be transcended.
But where is the photographer whose work is a tableau vivant literally closing in on me? As the minutes ascertain that Paul is gone without ever having been there, I depart.
Later, Paul leaves a hurried message on the phone in which he describes trying to approach me, circling the fountain in his bike, without being able to reach me. I am left with a feeble analogy tossed from the flash of a figure circling hundreds in a crowd, of which I am one. In the Hynes-Allen photograph empathy between photographer and subject is held up as the sickness which preserves the artist/beggar as being interchangeable and quite separate from the rest of us. We as the viewers are not invited to the Gesindelball."by Oliver Mechcatie"
Self Portrait with Eberhardt
“Then starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.” ― Truman Capote.