The hour of the wolf

On strange shores and at the edges of the night, the Hour of the Wolf exhumes the feminine mystery. The purpose of this wandering is itself, discreetly intense and vulnerable. Although firmly rooted in archaic fears, femininity remains wilfully phantasmagorical and exploits its own obsessions: fertility, sexuality, motherhood, infertility. The very issue of procreation is a source of anxiety. And the inability to procreate just as much. Organic, esoteric, the female is present at the appointed time.

The Hour of the Wolf, this is where one can no longer lie to oneself; Time to let the beasts loose. A single space, that of nature, fierce and yet familiar. Between light and dark, bark and foliage of a heady hair between predatory fangs and talons, the ephemeral torments what is eternal. And the skin shivers.

These images confront irreducible arcana, the same that attract with the same force as they terrify us. Those that haunt us. Those towards which we are pulled. And return from, backwards. Faced with this evidence, we can only to sink back into the mineral world, ever reminiscent of our selves. Between distance and immersion, this slow dive into the unconscious rekindles our terrors while taming them. It is indeed a struggle to which these images invite us, a fight encompassed in deep, velvety blacks and chalky whites.

This harnessed power frightens, no doubt as well because it expresses the confidence of a gaze delving intuitively into a telluric territory. It enables it to circumvent the mechanisms by pushing them to the bitter end. This photographic prose is more Saturnian than mystical. Refusing suggestion alone, Sophie Knittel faces what is shown and if she unearths symbols, her aim is to show the limits facing a quest for authentic meaning.

From the depths of dawn to the iciest hour of the night, this documentary fiction extracts the salt of the earth and sweats a latent violence. Breathless is how we escape this apnoea on solid ground. Not quite unscathed. The experience is punishing. Because it confronts what everyone tries to bury.

Text by Eléonore Antzenberger