Corona Rhapsody – Is This Real Life?
Like Freddy Mercury asks in Bohemian Rhapsody “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”, since the outbreak of the global Corona pandemic we have been confronted with the questions of what is actually happening around us and where the border between fantasy and reality lies. In the beginning, the situation felt like a surreal dream to us. Heygster combines different aspects and scenarios happening during the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany and shows the tension between public life, the infrastructural apparatus behind it, and the people who move in this space. Heygster has chosen a theatrical, pictorial aesthetic to play with the ideas of the pandemic and crisis, surreal feelings and also the self-promotion of institutions. Rafael Heygster’s aim is not bringing out the individuality of the people photographed, but rather to show them as if they were characters in a movie, or avatars in video games. With Corona Rhapsody Heygster wants to show and question how the current pandemic is presented in the media and perceived in public; to what extent this coincides with subjective experiences, how it is possibly instrumentalized for political purposes and how we will remember the crisis in the future.
Rafael Heygster (b. 1990) is a freelance photographer based in Hannover, Germany. He studied cultural anthropology from 2010 to 2015, and political sciences at the University of Hamburg. Since 2015 he has been studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover (Germany), and at DMJX in Aarhus (Denmark). In his work, he focuses on the relation between individuals and their social, cultural and ecological environment from a humanistic perspective.