When the photographs you finally took show found photographs, screens or graffiti, these traces from the past, which you also call wounds, how would you then describe the potentiality of these traces and their relation to the place?

P.N.: Sometimes they are not even real traces, because I can intervene before they’re finished: like in the case of the Jewish star in the beginning of the triptych. I was walking at night in Bucharest and I saw these kids painting the star. I still don’t know what they wanted to write or draw under it, because when they saw me they ran away. So I took the picture of the Star of David, but I don’t do this very much. There is this whole trend about appropriation that I rather dismiss.

T.H.: What do you precisely mean by the term appropriation?

P.N.: Marcel Duchamp started it with the Readymades! But in 1980, Sherrie Levine took it to the absurd extreme by photographing Walker Evans’ pictures and framing them the same size on the wall. The notion of the author disappeared! It became cool to rip off anybody’s images! But it excited so many intellectuals...

Michael Schmidt does something different with appropriation, using old photographs in a political way and making a real statement. [6] As I can’t go back in history and go to Warsaw in 1940, I have to find another Star of David painted on the wall somewhere else.

T.H.: The form of the triptych is also historical and memorial. When did you start using this traditional form of composition?

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