Werner Herzog has spent a lifetime behind the camera, recording the intricacies and confusions of human existence. Over that time he has amassed a vast collection of footage and still photography, which he recently made available via the launch of Herzog Images. The best part, of course, is his trademark analysis of each photograph. We’ve pulled out some highlights for your entertainment.
Death at the seaside
Description: A grown man leads a small child into the ocean - but without adequate flotation devices, they will surely drown. To die at the hands of the ocean is to be murdered by nature; it is vile, it is primitive. I wouldn’t see anything beautiful about the waves, I would see them as an obscenity.
Tags: death, ocean, pain, trauma, childhood
Sad people arranged in a row
Description: A group of strangers lies on the floor, united only by a red uniform. The mind attempts to create order from the chaos, to assign family roles, but they reject our classification. One of the women has red hair. It is an unfinished assembly, it is imperfect. There is nothing here but suffering.
Tags: lies, ageing, suffering, adultery, regret
A dying sun leaves the world devoid of warmth
Description: As they stroll the pier, one of the adults catches our attention. He walks apart from the others, and will be the first to reach the shelter. But he will not find food, only overwhelming and collective loneliness, a base articulation. In comparison to this articulation, the children are nothing more than the simple melodies of a dumb carnival attraction.
Tags: alone, rejection, fear, attack, murder
Staring into the ugly face of death
Description: A young family tries to hide in a field of long grass, but their crude disguise will do nothing to deter the predators who review these plains. Their deaths will be unhappy ones. That is not to say I disagree with their decision - I envy it. But I envy it against my better judgment.
Tags: futility, hopelessness, acceptance, white t-shirts
Description: Kinski says the mountains are full of majesty, but I see nothing majestic. The mountains are jealous. They mock us. They attack. They do not contribute to order, they destroy it. Even the snow is ugly. The climbers will not find death, but they will wish they had.
Tags: gravity, vast, depression, devil