In one of her novels on complex interpersonal relationships, Simone de Beauvoir once asked: 'Have you ever felt in your inmost being, the conscience of others?' My Photographs are about the exploration of conscience in a moment when the division between 'the self' and 'the other' remains narrow. I believe that each person's thoughts are concerned with the presence of other people - with the memories of their faces, touches and voices.
with the memories of their faces, touches and voices
my body has started to react to this narrow moment between 'self' and 'other' in the same unpredictable way
At some point of my childhood, probably at the early stage of developing empathy, my body has started to react to this narrow moment between 'self' and 'other' in the same unpredictable way: my knees shiver, my senses pause and I faint. Weirdly, the experience of Ohnmacht (german: the state of unconsciousness) as a sensitive reaction to physical and psychological sensation has become something I had to accept about myself without having any medical explanation for it. I fainted at school, in the metro, in the middle of a break up and whenever I felt an expanding consciousness between self and other that induced a feeling of excitement, ecstasy, anxiousness or a sudden emotional attack.
My senses need a break and I find comfort in the darkness. After the state of Ohnmacht, my senses slowly come back and I see worried faces looking down at me. It is from this perspective, lying on the ground and devoting myself to a state of powerlessness, that I want to capture intimate moments between 'the self' and 'the other' - a perspective that is not necessarily fortunate or nice but rather captures an uncomfortable static moment for both, my 'self' as the artists and 'the other' as the spectator. The realm of all that is unspeakable and unintelligible from a general perception on the shared experiences is thus, a moment we share. I photograph on 35mm because the developing process in the darkroom - in my personal dark space with no one but my 'self' - is a way to proceed my sensual impressions.
The realm of all that is unspeakable and unintelligible from a general perception on the shared experiences is thus, a moment we share
Born in 1995, Lilian Mauthofer currently lives and works in Berlin. During her studies in political philosophy, the world of images as a representation of the current zeitgeist has always been important to her. Having been gifted an old 35mm film camera by her father, Lilian started photography while she was still in her young teens. The black-and-white work in the darkroom is still at the core of her work, reflecting on questions of self and other, social justice, empowerment and female lust.
In 2016, the intersectional interests in both, politics and photography, brought her to Lebanon where she lived for 1.5 years and found herself capturing scenes from her daily life in a documentary mood.
Her works where shown in the group exhibition Vices & Validations (2019), a collaboration of the Lebanese NGO Haven for Artists and the Institut Francaise in Beirut. A solo exhibition on the series “Women’s Strength” (2018) took place in the Transitionhaus in Bayreuth. Recently, Lilian Mauthofer participated with the series “Thawra” in the 48hNeukölln art festival in Berlin (2020), curated by artburst berlin. Following 48h Neukölln, the photographs of “Thawra” were shown in different districts of Berlin in the format of a touring exhibition. Currently, the photographs are exhibited in Café Lux Berlin.