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Management & Contact

S’il ne fait pas beau à droite, je prends à gauche; si je me trouve peu apte à monter à cheval, je m’arrête…
Ai-je laissé quelque chose à voir derrière moi? J’y retourne; c’est toujours mon chemin.
Je ne trace à l’avance aucune ligne déterminée, ni droite, ni courbe.

Michel de Montaigne, Essais III, 9


If the path to the right does not appear favourable, I turn to the left; if I find myself unfit to ride, I stop...
Have I left something behind me? I go back for it; that's always my way.
I do not draw any predetermined line, straight or curved.

Statement

Time and again, I mistook an airport for a physical place where aircrafts arrive and depart. During this time of misunderstanding, I worked for an airline. I made a living by learning and executing as many functions and positions as possible, that were available in the physical world of aviation. Despite a modest career, I followed my intuition and curiosity, not the idea that I needed this and that title, in my personal pursuit of happiness and eventual accomplishment.

Among many things that I did, here is a selection: I learned how to make a load plan for a B747 and how to find lost suitcases in WorldTracer. I learned the TIMATIC rules of travel (Country of Origin? Residing Country? Coming from where? Transiting where? Going to where?). I learned to be a uniformed service promise in the service industry, and I learned to train further uniformed service promises for the service industry, that were to remain brave and zen when a roaring upset passenger is yelling this typically existential question:

“Don’t you know who I am?”

I lived the life of an expatriate in Asia, Africa and the Near East, when globalization was still a corporate vision and not something made of hardplastic with planned obsolescence. I shook hands with an about-to-be overthrown president or had lunch with a cynical ex-Prime Minister, whose diplomatic passport was not valid anymore. I made tenders in the Near East and provided assessments. I worshipped effectiveness and efficiency. I built up teams and I shrunk them. I managed corporate social responsibility projects, established quite close to the Syrian desert. I learned about crisis communication for the unlikely event, and learned why you should never promise something unbeknownst to you. I organized processes in the name of punctuality and departure management, while learning all IATA delaycodes by heart and how to apply them creatively.
It did eventually come to be that time for me, and as the clock struck the first tone of twelve, I left my job on time.
Of all of that, I particularly retain a moment when I mediated a conference as the event moderator. One of the top managers was called out in front of an audience of two hundred, about how disastrous the effects of cost saving measures were on passengers and therefore flight attendants. The flight attendant calling him out had this high-pitched voice, almost perfectly matching the pitch of a gold-yellow feathered canary. He illustrated how impossible it was to resolve, what seemed near criminal, in having to divide a last breakfast egg between two business class clients.
It would seem to me, that all these anecdotes are an expression illustrating that I was learning the technique before applying the idea in practice. In a certain sense, it has lead me to the provisional conclusion, that reality can be a more or less well paid internship.
It just depends what you make out of it.


Ground Operations

The basis for my works are neat and proper documentary-like photographs. I respect photography as a handicraft in all its aspects. However, straight story telling does not work for me.
Piling up extracted elements, forms and colours in one picture creates an extra-sensory world and ambiguity that I see in everything, like a constant play with words and sense. Digital photography and its post-production, has given me the means to have something grow towards and out of the surface.
I work and rework my works; they are rarely finished, but rather are in a permanent transition that I share.
For me, there are two ways of doing artistic photography.
The first one originally attracted me to photography. It is the vain and most of the time failing attempt to arrest a moment out of the flow of time. It could be interpreted as an astonishment about the beauty of the not-so-obvious.
The second is to take pictures and to transform them into something different, contradicting the documentary-like definition of photography like the pictorialists did around Alfred Stieglitz more than a hundred years ago.
As I am unable to capture an unconscious beauty and will always look and act like a diligent amateur trying to straighten what is curved, I decided to precede with own ideas and only use photographs in order to transform them into something different.

I do not set myself goals and reach out for them. I walk for horizons: following curiosity, the necessity to avoid boredom and cynicism. Moving forward guarantees a different perspective on where I have been. I do not want to show what I see. I want to find what I do not yet see.

I work in Basel and in Zell im Wiesental, Germany. My studio is located in a former textile and aerosol factory. I like this environment: in the foothills of a world of yesterday, in between globalized, evaporated, which I continue to explore through the possibilities of digital photography and its postproduction.


Till Heene, July 2024

ARRIVED

DEPARTED



2021


Photographer, Author and German trainer, Basel and Zell im Wiesental

2020

2021

Professional training in photography and videography at the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA), Paris

2002

2019

Various operational and managerial positions at Lufthansa German Airlines in Frankfurt, Singapore, Libreville (Gabon) and Beirut

2001

2002

German and English teacher in Cuenca, Spain. Tour Guide in Middle and Southern Europe

1995

2000

Studies in Romance Languages in Freiburg, Granada and Toulouse.
 Master in French Linguistics (Toulouse)

1992

1995

Studies in History of Art and Literature in Freiburg; travels and side jobs

1971



Graduated with a birth certificate from the University Hospital in Marburg, Germany

Exhibitions

10/2024

Gallery Leupin, Basel

09/2022

Beirut Image Festival

10/2018

Salon d'Automne, Sursock Museum, Beirut