LIFE
FORCE
The magazine of the photo-essay
September 2017 issue
Sol Niger or Dark Night of the Soul
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Marco Spinner
The images in the book Sol Niger came into being during nocturnal forays through the streets of Paris; they do not, however, constitute an effort to put together some sort of photographic portrait of the city. With his photographs, Marco Spinner does not create a document of a real place. On the contrary, his sequence of images amounts to the construction of an imaginary space, which could hardly be more complex. In his photographs, the interplay of symbols, signs, objects and architecture with the images of people triggers off an idiosyncratic game, which defies logical interpretation. It gives rise to a certain bafflement, because the normal modes of explanation, upon which our view of the world is based, are simply not applicable here.
In the book Sol Niger, the words are just as important as the pictures. The texts are not intended to explain or justify the photographs; instead, they themselves evoke images, which open up a further dimension of experiential space. The processes, with which Marco Spinner arrives at his images and words, are not so very different
from each other. They come gushing out of his subconscious, are reactions to chance encounters. They become concentrated into the essence of his experience and, through the process of editing and combining, then come together to achieve the greatest possible degree of complexity. As in the experimental films of Jean-Luc Godard, Spinner’s work is not concerned with a traditional narrative form that involves telling a story in a linear fashion. By interweaving fragments of texts and images on the cutting table, Godard also produced virtual interstices, within which complex interrelationships and explosions of associations were highly compressed. In this way, fifty years ago, he revolutionized our way of seeing and provided inspiration for later generations.  
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