He only appears where people die. He’s closer to death than to anything or anyone else.
by Bernhard Aichner
btb/PRH Germany, March 2021
Winter in Innsbruck. A homeless man seeks refuge in a long abandoned house in the woods. In the bedroom, he finds a dead body. It has been lying there for twenty years. It’s just what the press photographer David Bronski has been waiting for. He and his colleague, the journalist Svenja Spielmann, are tasked with reporting from the scene – but what he won’t tell anyone is what connects him to this spectacular case.
Ever since he can remember, Bronski has taken photographs of misfortune. His eye is trained on the darkness in our world. He goes where people die. He immortalises everything that’s bad, and is fascinated by the silence of death. It’s like an addiction. Bronski is closer to death than to anything or anyone else, and lives only for his secret passion: analogue photography. The dark room is his safe haven – here, he creates his works of art, portraits of dead people. Scarred by a terrible event in his past, this is his attempt to rediscover meaning in life.
Bernhard Aichner, born in 1972, works as an author and photographer and writes novels, audio plays and stage plays. He trained as a journalist at the second largest Austrian daily newspaper, where he grew particularly fascinated by police photographs of accidents, murders and natural disasters. Aichner has been awarded several literary prizes and scholarships for his work, including among others the 2015 Crime Cologne Award and the 2017 Friedrich Glauser Prize. His books are bestsellers and translated into numerous languages.