Moments of Writing

In 2004, I decided to make a series of portraits of writers. I wanted especially to photograph the action of writing itself and capture the spirit of the creative energy and search for the secret of the artistic process.
For this project, I chose to make a pinhole camera myself. I pierced it with a tiny hole, so small that an exposure time of about half an hour was required.

Then, I placed that box on the writing desk of the authors and asked them to simply carry on working. The more a writer moved around during this shoot, the more he became a ghost-like image.

As I had the occasion to host many writers from all over the world in my house as part of a residence program, this seemed to be the ideal way to photograph them without disturbing their creative process. I made more than a hundred portraits over six years. ‘Moments of Writing’ was published in 2010 by Lanoo Publishing.

“Using nothing more then a small black box as a slow eye on writers’ desks, Alexandra Cool has made multi-faceted portraits: portraits of writers, of writing, of the art of writing, of writing rooms and even of time”.

Exhibition at FoMu, Museum of photography, Antwerp

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