Close-ups of human bodies, views of rooms, plants and animals, sculptures – Thibaut Henz’s photographic works cover a wide spectrum of motifs. He combines shots of different situations which initially seem unconnected. In this fragmentary approach every motif alludes not only to their representation, but also to something absent, which only formalises through the viewing process. In the field of tension between presence and absence, a reciprocal reference system evolves which points to something that was. Instead of fulfilling a representational function, Henz’s photographs illustrate the present as a contingency reflected in coexisting realities experienced either directly, through the media, or digitally. Henz belongs to a generation whose perception of the world is strongly influenced by the reception of digital images. Online platforms such as Instagram mainly serve the purpose of displaying multiple, successful selves, either through the demonstrative exhibition of wealth, the representation of an extensive social network, or an original handling of visual material. The aesthetic fabrication of singularity in the context of the digital attention economy is always at the forefront. Henz uses the mechanisms of the “visually represented experience” (Andreas Reckwitz) and shows that the production of visual material is anything but unique (or even algorithmically determined). In Henz’s works the individual image is at once specific and generic, and primarily alludes to another image. In his examination of emerging technological reproduction processes, the philosopher John Berger drew attention to the camera’s ability to isolate fleeting impressions – contrary to the claim of painting to represent universal meaning – and thereby destroying the idea of timeless pictures. This concept is manifest in the digital age of the viral circulation of images: the picture as a means of representation becomes the performative realisation of the self. Henz uses highlights and strong contrasts to focus the attention on the subject while leaving the background and thus the context undefined. On the receptive level, this ambiguousness challenges the viewers to create their own allusions and referential contexts. Furthermore, the intense zoom, which defines the segments, reveals a paradox within the digital overproduction of images: with increasing proximity, the representation of the subject becomes less specific.