Stolen Promise

  • A desire of photography is to freeze a fragment eternally, in an attempt to create a mnemonic for the present and future. In the work „Stolen Promise“ by Heike Marie Krause, figures vanish by processes of decay and become signs.

    The emulsion sheet of a 4“x5“ instant film is used as source that continues to develop.

    As the picture ages, individual parts of the portrait fade, the surface slowly crystallises and gets covered by scratches and dust. The emulsion sheet is scanned several times: directly after the photograph has been taken, then some weeks later and finally after several years.

    R 5 Claudi 1  Image scanned after 3 years.

    R 6 Claudi 1 dunkler Kopf Image scanned after 6 years.

    The photographic surface, and along with it the face and any reference to time – clothes, hairstyles and glasses – vanish. A temporal classification of the image by the photograph itself is hardly possible. The image ages and thereby becomes timeless.

    In the end, only a vague trace remains of the photographed person and its existance.


    With a 4“x5“ camera, an instant photo is taken, consisting of a positive sheet that is attached to a negative emulsion sheet containing the processing fluid. After a development time of three minutes, the positive can be separated from the emulsion sheet.


    Bilder klein

    left: The Polaroid Positive

    right: The emulsion sheet