Back in 2013, Swiss filmmaker Iwan Schumacher began collecting photographs of couples who seem oblivious to the camera, either because they’re on familiar terms with the photographer or don’t even realize they’re being observed. Coincidentally, Peter Pfrunder, director of the Swiss Foundation for Photography, had long envisioned putting together an exhibition of photographs of couples. So it was only natural for the two of them to team up to produce a book.

The couples portrayed in Paare / Couples are of various types, durations and gender combinations. Each picture is complete unto itself and shows something happening between the two subjects; each sets a different film in motion in the viewer’s imagination, a before and after, which nevertheless remain a matter of delightful speculation – the mystery of the image remains forever veiled. Although Paare / Couples gives visible, almost palpable expression to a wide range of human emotions, the book doesn’t claim to show a photo-historically representative selection of people from all walks of life. It is, instead, a score gleefully and liberally composed by two photophiles, an eclectic assortment of stills that seem to be drawn from as many different motion pictures, but can be spliced together to form a new multi-threaded mosaic film.

Paare / Couples is published by Edition Patrick Frey