Arnaud De Wolf — Heim
In German, the word ‘Heim’ refers to the place where one has settled or where one comes to rest. As such, it has a double meaning: it refers back to the place where one was born, but also to the place where one stays at the end of his life (the ‘Heim’ as a home for the elderly or the sick). ‘Heim’ therefore encompasses the fundamental movement of all human beings: born and raised at a certain place, referring to this place as his ‘home’, he goes out into the world, only to return again to his homestead.
The ‘home’ for which one longs is the house where one has grown up, which even if it still exists, is never the same as the one remembered. The ‘home’ is a place in time, only accessible through memory.
These photographs put us, the viewers, in the middle of an impossible situation. There is no safe harbour to run to. We’re not only bereft of the enjoyable cosiness of human company but also of the warm embrace of pleasing nature. We are put in the position of the wanderer for whom there is no place to rest, forced to roam the world without ever settling down. The blueish and cold light reveals a harsh truth: for us, there is no ‘Heim’. At least, not here, not in these images, spaces, buildings. If we’re looking for a home, we will have to find it somewhere else.
Text: Steven Humblet