Words

This is all that I believe in…

… seeing the Band Hope perform brought back a lot of memories of the time when they asked me to take pictures of their old band project. Since back then I was able to follow their way. I am trying to describe the feeling that I have thinking that it`s wonderful to witness the creative process of four individuals through some photographs (that probably weren`t even my best work at times). I think I am… also… proud to have done that. Thank you Phillip, Christine, Martin, Fabian.

 

 

 

I`m trying really hard not to shitstorm…

As some of you may have realized, I have been part of an exhibition recently. Conditions were discussed beforehand: I was told that my costs will be covered and I didn`t expect more… maybe some interest in my work. After the exhibition the curator wrote an email telling me that, unfortunately, there is not enough money for all expenses (he just did not apply for enough money/funding beforehand). This exhibition was part of a bigger project/workshop at the university. A friend of mine organized the exhibition and asked me to join. The project manager, I was told, will deal with the refunding of my expenses later. But instead of returning the money I spent on the prints, he stated how it is a pity that everyhing is about money! Well, that is easy to say if you have a decent job within culture industry… It`s just so offensive to be told that money and payment are not an issue if you need to pay rent, buy food from this money. Everyone who is following my work and/or this page realizes that I am not in it for the money but to expect that you are being paid for the work and effort is not too much to ask. Thanks for reading.

 

 

I dream of…*

 

…cities. Empty cities.

 

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Where I`ll lay down alone.

 

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I dream of cities. Endless cities.

 

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Where I will die alone.

 

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And someone speaks there of all that I`ve known.

 

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And the stone streets there. That I come from…

 

 

*The words are used with the kind permission of Kristoffer Bolander, lent from his song „cities“

About: Recht auf Stadt?

I have a German description for a series of photographs that are being shown in an exhibition. I won`t translate it directely into English but…

… the title of the exhibition is „urban spaces“. I have been asked to contribute to it since some of my work deals with this, too. Having thought about it I guess it is somehow true. Some of my latest pictures show the architecture, reconstruction sites and landscape that directly surrounds me in the part of the city I live in now. The pictures are about not feeling at home, even alienated at times, while walking around and exploring this new city. Trying to translate those feelings into pictures and showing some of them here on this blog is my aim. Some of the pictures can be seen here already, others won`t appear here at all… in fact it`s only a small series.

When I was thinking about the concept of the exhibition Henri Lefebvre´s „right to the city“ came to my mind. I am wondering if there is a right to non-urban living as well. The titel of the series is thus „right to the city?“ and it should contribute to questioning a right to urbanism in a specific form…

 

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Athens…

…is were I travelled to, not to long ago. I accompanied my partner to a conference. Here is what I saw and what she thought in an attempt to combine those two to create something new:

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This summer I was walking through Athens not exactly knowing what I was feeling: I felt strange, estranged even. I had not left what is considered “Europe”. Nevertheless, I was a foreigner to this fast, busy, somehow melancholic and defiant city. After a while I came to realize that I felt something that I identified as a sort of collective sentiment: depression, but also anger, frustration, defiance and – I could not first grasp it – solidarity. A Greek solidarity against a Europe that is defined by neoliberal regimes of austerity and managed migration.

 

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Being a person born, raised and still living in Germany I felt out of place: awkward, guilty or responsible at least. A German government that I did not vote for harmed this country: and it was the vulnerability I felt when walking through the streets of Athens. But there was more to it than injury and pain…there was also commitment, critique, and – again – solidarity. The austerity measurements set in motion by EU’s established leaders were fueled by a “Northern” resentment of the inner workings of “Southern” economy and lifestyle. This resentment is manifested in the figure of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Minister of Finance or Secretary of Treasury that stubbornly and self-righteously insisted on the Northern model – and treasured difference so little.

 

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Walking through Athens I felt the anger towards the German government that has so much power and influence on the European level. I felt complicit with this austerity regime that hit Greece hard. We are in it together, I thought: We are interwoven, connected, and yet apart. And now? Now, I am standing in Athens feeling a sentiment of rejection, refusal, and distrust towards me being a relatively rich and relatively privileged tourist, above all from Germany: coming to Athens, and leaving it behind me. Still, Athens affects me…

 

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Negative Thoughts…

Actually I have been thinking about this for a long time but I always felt that this blog is more about my photography/work and less about my thoughts (on it). Now it`s going to be different though.

In fact, I would want everyone, especially people related to music, to read this. Because it is about them, too. Ever since I started doing photography I was always connected to a certain scene of music and people playing in bands, setting up shows and what not. You could even say that without looking at certain pictures of bands and musicians on records or in magazines or whatever my interest in photography would have never developed  into what it is today. You can see on this page and on this blog that taking pictures of bands/musicians is still a big part of my photographical work and I guess it will always be. But lately a feeling of frustration and anger started growing when I thought about this connection. I took pictures of artists for years and some of the pictures appeared in other contexts such as websites or magazines. Moreover, my pictures were used by bands – for promotion or on their records -, sometimes I worked with the musicians and got paid for a picture or two but this happended very rarely. Most of the time my pictures weren`t of interest at all for anyone but me… Even if it sometimes happened that those being photographed were happy about some sort of promotion or were thankful for the pictures, what annoys me is that most of the time noone seems to care about it at all.

I am trying to see this more from the point of being a fan of music and being appreciative of it… but realizing that people are not as supportive, thankful, or interested in music photography as they are in music itself saddens me more and more and it raises questions like: Does the music scene not realize how big of a part even the visualization of this artform is? That photorgraphy works as documenting everything besides audio? Isn`t that worth something? Could everyone involved in music pay a little more attention, please?