Erich Dal Canton

For well over 50 years I have been moving through spaces in all their shapes and forms. The photographic work shown here presents a small excerpt from an intensely experienced journey in time through the spaces that I inhabit.

Finding the right light is an obsession for me. Photography is produced with light. Natural and industrial spaces, interiors and exteriors and sacred spaces join to form one whole entity. The so called waterscapes are the heart of my artistic work. Water landscapes are primeval landscapes for me. My black-and-white photographs, toned in a special process developed over many years, are printed in the traditional manner by hand on high-quality silver-gelatin paper. I do this in my own laboratory for “visual research” in Wettingen in extremely time-consuming work. My purpose is not to reproduce motifs true to the original, but to represent them so that they are transformed into metaphors.
Much as I attach importance to the perfect image, I am however equally convinced that the photographer’s inspiration has a higher value than the technology. A fine, consummate print reflects an inward power of expression. My wish is for my works to be viewed with imagination and sensibility, and that the beholder tries not just to look at them but to look into them.

I mainly work with three large-format cameras with the gigantic negative dimensions of 6x17cm, 4x5inch and 8x10inch, which compels me to be particularly careful. They are complemented by two medium-format cameras with the negativsize of 6x6cm. For many years I have processed my negatives exclusively in pyro developers, in order to achieve exceptional tonality and luminescence. I print every negative onto the paper that corresponds to the tonal gradations that I wish to have.

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