Friday, February 15, 2008

[Self] Interview...

SOUTH AFRICA. Cape Town. February 2008. Portrait of two brothers in the Khayelitsha township, close to Cape Town. Copyright: Uwe Schober/rupert beagle photography.

us: “Isn’t this a bit of a cheap trick you are trying to pull off here?”

rb: ”What do you mean?”

us: “Doing a self interview.”

rb: ”Glenn Gould did one before… at least you get to ask the questions that you would like to answer, or would like to have asked for that matter.”

us: “You are not comparing yourself to Glenn Gould?”

rb: “No, not at all… But I have always been an ardent and sometimes shameless imitator of people, styles and works of art that I admire…”

us: “Aren’t you supposed to find your own style? Where is your own creativity?”

rb: “What I meant was I try to study other artist’s ideas and try variations on them, if I like them… and also adopt what works for me… and come up with a few ideas of my own – at least every now and then.”

us: “Can you give me a recent example?”

rb: “Well, yeah, for example, yesterday evening I went out with one of the social workers to look for street children. When we found a group of them, there was no light anymore… It was pitch dark and I could not take a single image… or at least a halfway decent image… Then I asked myself, what would someone like Paolo Pellegrin - as you know one of the photographers I admire a lot - …what would he have done in this situation?”

us: “And, what was your conclusion?”

rb: “I guess he would have resorted to some surrogate mechanism to take some meaningful images nevertheless. So I tried to get away with these blurry, grainy images… and some shots in the headlights of the car… Miles away from what Pellegrin would have produced, but at least I have tried.”

us: “Let’s leave this subject and talk about the hotch potch of images that you are posting on this blog.”

rb: “What about them?”

us: “Well, there is this new project you are trying to do in a more documentary style… and then there are listings of book, music and show reviews… and then also the odd interspersed polaroid. One could say that this is seriously lacking some structure.”

rb: “I guess there is more structure than I would like to have in a year I set myself for experimenting and playing… The documentary images are from projects that I am trying to undertake, for example the ones on the street children or on the vanishing village in Eastern Germany… The other images – in particular the polaroids – stem from a more subjective documentary of my life, more in the sense of a Nan Golding or Antoine d’Agata who are ‘merely’, and I say the merely in inverted commas, they are merely photographing their lives and what they subjectively feel. I guess the polaroids come closest to my current emotional state of mind.”

us: “That sounds interesting. Can I ask another question?”

rb: “Go on.”

us: “On these polaroids… They don’t seem to be very self-explanatory”

rb: “No, and they don’t have to be… it suffices that they are for me… they are subjective after all. For instance, the polaroid entitled ‘the empty chair and other stories’ is really about lost opportunities… there was someone in particular missing and the empty chair in my hotel room was expressing this to me… But I won’t be more specific.”

us: “One more question, if I may.”

rb: “I really should be going now… I would like to catch the last bit of light today.”

us: “OK, then let’s continue at some other time. Thanks so far and good luck tomorrow visiting the Khayelitsha township.”

1 comment:

Holger said...

love it.
from my perspective, theres a very thin line between superficial blabla-blogging barely scratching the surface and annoying people with your deepest problems, troubles,thoughts etc.

I for one have never managed to find that line.

I think you're definately close.

love the self interview.