Photo by Lucien Zell

Lucien Zell: Poet, Actor, Photographer

A photographer is a hunter of Light. Unlike any other hunter on earth, not catching anything makes the photographer an endangered species. His prey is constantly changing to avoid being caught, camouflaging itself in the jungle of the mundane. The photographer shoots and shoots but rarely catches anything. For the photographer/hunter, even shadows are made of light. For shadows are a darker species of light, equally difficult to catch. Sometimes Light plays at being dead, and the photographer prods it with a flash then—fool—believes it and treks on. For his prey must be shot, but shot so precisely that it lives forever. Shot so precisely that the photographer shoots it, not into death, but into larger life.

One of those embodied light-shadows is a French actress named Amrit. He later learns that ‘Amrit’ means nectar in Sanskrit, ‘the nectar of Eternal Life.’ She sits outside the Vagabond cafe in London, munching on the last tip of a pear. The photographer asks her to imagine something that is a secret between the photographer and her. He catches her in the act of imagining. Amazingly, and in a way that surprises him too, this time the photographer shoots her. Shoots her into her name. Shoots her into Eternal Life.

Born on the Day of the Dead (November 1st) in the City of Angels (Los Angeles, California), Lucien Zell has lived twenty years in Europe. Not formally schooled as a photographer, Zell has diligently attended the one university that’s always open for artists. The road. The night. The savage indifference of the universe. That’s Zell’s university. The university of loneliness, the university of rejection, where he’s currently working on his PhD.

Never consistently working in any other employment than art, Zell streaks across various mediums and has published four books of poems, and one novel (he’s currently researching a novel, partially set in Gorlitz). He’s also written numerous songs performed by various artists from Warner and Universal Music. He’s acted in the Bollywood film Prague, performed in several theater plays, and the TV series Lost Legion. He, too, feels, like he’s lying when he talks about himself—even when he’s just stating the truth. He currently lives in Prague.

Text source: Lucien Zell