Catalog Text

3rd Jury Prize Conceptual - Viewbook PhotoStory 2009

With his series Alibi, Thorsten Kirchoff has taken the photographs of my dreams (if only my dreams were this interesting). These images are like personal recollections - mysterious yet meaningful, without ever slipping into cliché. Dark, grainy, somewhat out of focus and with no reference to time or place, his cinematic style beautifully ties the images together. And while all the photos bring something new to the series, they also stand on their own, creating atmosphere, mystery and a sense of exploration. The few people we see in these photos could be from any era, but they all seem to be searching, looking for something that they may or may not actually want to find. I think this is why many photographers, myself included, photograph abandoned buildings - they are such haunting places. It's difficult to explain the attraction. The images in Alibi go beyond most of what we have seen on this subject. It is truly wonderful and inspiring work, which leaves me with many questions, and wanting to see more.

Alison Zavos (photographer, editor