Interview with Baybars Saglamtimur for Fotoritim // Oktober 2011
Baybars Saglamtimur: Dear Andreas first of all thank you for sharing
your works with us. Can you please give us some information, who is
Andreas Weinand?
 

Andreas Weinand: Thank you very much for your interest in my photography.
It is a pleasure for me. I am an independent photographer. Born in 1958 in
Rheine / Westfalen, Germany. In 1978 I finished gymnasium in Düsseldorf.
After that I decided to follow my personal interests and started to study
photography at the GHS ( Folkwang ) Essen in 1980. Over the course of ten

years I intensively explored the possibilities of photography and examined
in 1990. Since 1986 I was living in Essen. Just now my wife and I are moving
to Berlin. I have developed my artistic documentary photography in tension
between commissioned and independent productions in the contexts of
media and art.


BS: You state that (at your web site) your photography is primarily
engaged in the research of personal identities. And you publish
them as singular or panoramic series. Why do you choose this
presentation method?


AW: I understand taking photographs as a process. One image follows
the other. I open my mind and follow my intuition. Each image is one possible
approach towards a person, a landscape or a situation. The presentation,
may it be an exhibition or book, offers the possibility to arrange several images
in order to create an associative tension between these single images.
The sequenced presentation conveys a more complex understanding of reality.


BS: Your photographic style reminded me "snapshots". It is not easy
to come across successful images for this "style" and  I believe that
you are very successful in this area. Your images carries the nearly
the same resonance - even if you shoot people or just a bunch of
flowers - this resonance (or feeling) is the same (in my opinion).
Each of them have a special, unique soul. While looking at your
series one can easily sense this... (do you agree with my thoughts
at the previous paragraph?) How do you describe your photographic
style and the way of choosing the series topics?


AW: Yes, I absolutely agree with you, except your use of the word "shoot".
For me it is "taking photographs". This is a very sensitive approach towards
people and objects. Although I have to act very straight and situational I am
aware that I look at a person and I watch this person in a very intimate way.
There is always this tension and the risk of either going too far or missing
an intensive image. I have to find my balance. I aim to take photographs
that resemble a certain VIEW. That probably sounds easy but it is not.
I have to put "into the camera" what I see in front of me. The result is
supposed to be an image that acts as a personal view. This requires
some practice in both, technical and psychological experience and an
understanding about what I am doing. I call my photography
straight
photography with a personal view
. My topics develop by time. Some of
them have an autobiographic origin others are the result of a cooperation
or commission. Based on my ongoing reflections on
what is important
in life
, certain topics emerge. I focus on what really interests me and for
what I am willing to invest time and energy
.

BS: At your web site I like the Colossal Youth and Reflecting Oneself
series the most. They are my top 2. Which series are your favorites?


AW: Both are very important for me. There is a close correspondence.
Photographing COLOSSAL YOUTH made me think about my position as
a photographer utilizing the privacy of other people in order to formulate
artistic images. That caused a moral conflict for me. So I turned the observing
camera on myself to find out how far I was willing to show my own intimacy.
I wanted to explore my own identity. By now I am happy that this period of life
has passed and changed. ACKER* ARABLE LAND is a real core project.
Very personal and at the same time of global impact. It reflects on the
human relationship to nature. The PORTRAITS I also like very much.


BS: When I first came across your photos I was curious about your
camera format. It is not a 35mm or 6x6. What type of camera do you
use and why?


AW: I mostly photographed with the Makina 6x7 using negative film. I did all
my prints in the darkroom by myself. Using the Makina with a bounce flash
is quite fun. You cannot hide that you are taking photographs. At that time
I enjoyed photographing that way. Nowadays I prefer to photograph with
available light and using the tripod from time to time.


BS: You are making workshops and giving lectures time to time...
It reminds me that you like to share your knowledge. What is the
force behind this?


AW: I enjoy to communicate with people. I have accumulated a profound
experience to share and it is great to develop strategies to speak about
images in a group of engaged students.


BS: You have a book "Colossal Youth" published from Peperoni
Books. Can you please give us some information about the idea
of the images and book?


AW: Following autobiographical roots I focused on the theme of "youth"
and realized COLOSSAL YOUTH from 1988 - 1990. The philosophy of
life held by the people I photographed reminded me in a way of my own
philosophy as a young person. It is a manifestation of the power of youth.
This juvenile claim for omnipotence.


BS: Who are your favorite artists? What are your personal interests
and what type of music do you listen the most?


AW: I love art in general. There are so many artists that inspire me that
I consider it quite unfair to mention only a few. But, Jan van Eyk's "Man in
a Red Turban" is one of my favorite portraits. In photography Diane Arbus
inspired me a lot. I witnessed Garry Winogrand's lecture at the Folkwangschool
in 1982. That opened my eyes. In the early 80's I attended movies four times
a week. That was a magnificent impact. The last twelve years I focused on
contemporary dance and performing arts. I listen to all kinds of music. …


BS: Do you have any currently involving or future projects?

AW: My current project is our move to Berlin. Packing all the stuff from the
last 21 years in boxes. Restructure life and plant seeds for the future.
One core project is my mother. I have photographed her intensively for
7 years. My mother looking at me. And, of course, the portraits.


BS: Do you know/meet with any Turkish photographers and/or artists?

AW: I know the work of Ara Güler. I have seen films but I do not remember
the names of the directors. Heavy films. I still remember the name "Yol".
I have not been to Turkey yet, but Istanbul is on top of my wish list.


BS: I really enjoy watching your photographs. They give me the feeling
of being there, right in that situation and in that time... I can sense the
atmosphere, I can feel them, even smell them... They are very close,
personal and seems that I am there with the camera - because most of
the people you photograph seems that they are nor aware of (or care for)
you, all natural, warm and intimate...

Thank you very much for this interview and wishing you success!


AW: Thank you very much for your touching words about my photographs.
They very well describe what I aim to express. I also wish you lots of success!


Published on Fotoritim // Oktober 2011 // Turkish and English

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