How to Become a Ghost


Daniella Domingues and Zoltán Lesi conducted a photo session on December 15 and 16, 2017, with staff and fellows in Akademie Schloss Solitude’s room 24. They used three analog 120mm cameras: Mamiya 645 pro-TL, Yashica A+, Diana F+. Read Lesi’s poetic story on how the idea for the photo started.

»Believe or not, but please find a bench, let them sit down and take a group photo. Until the shutter releases, they might meditate on a long sentence by Sebald, or not«—this is what the ghost said. Who believes in the otherworld, when a man can fly to the moon? So, you can keep me an idiot. I really tried to avoid this situation.

First, I did what an artist would typically do: just mitigated doing what the ghost asked for. It was easier to find excuses like being tired or having a headache because of the snowfall or the loud children. But the ghosts kept coming back, and it was impossible to sleep. A shadow was moving around my neck. I must admit that everything started after I was spying on them. There was a party every night for passed spirits in Solitude castle. Overlapping shadow-bodies twisted under the fresco. Maybe Casanova was dancing there.

It was too much for me, so I stopped going after the ghosts, but then a little girl started appearing. She was sitting on the window ledge. She was almost transparent, but I still couldn’t let her jump. So she got pissed off and called the big brother, who had a huge hole in his stomach. There was only one way to ease the girl’s pain, he said; there is only one way for her to stop coming after me. She was the only daughter of the prince not present for the family painting. So just take group photos with the people sitting together like ghosts, and she could easily join.

The ghosts might have missed something, since I’m not a photographer, so I asked Daniella Domingues.