Interview with Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé // THE SMELL OF DUST

Where are you from and what is your approach to Photography?

I am from Germany. Born in 1958. I was raised in Düsseldorf and studied
photography at the Folkwang School in Essen. Since 2011 I have lived in
Berlin.

Photography is my medium to reflect on human nature. I ask questions about
the individuality of a human being and the conditions of the world we are living in.
I focus on the topic of IDENTITY by means of a subjective documentary style.

The project "Colossal Youth" that was selected for THE SMELL OF DUST
is a series you made at the end of the 80's. Could you tell us a bit more about
this project? What were you looking for by photographing your friends?
What was your state of mind at that time ?

I photographed COLOSSAL YOUTH from 1988 - 1990 in Essen, which belonged
to West Germany at that time. It took me the two years previous to approach the
topic of youth and to find the appropriate people.

I stepped into this group as a stranger and became familiar with those I photographed.
I emotionally reconnected to the feelings I had had as a teenager. I had been searching
for this unbound will to live one‘s own way in the mood of immortality and invincibility.

Looking at these bacchanalian gatherings with the eyes of a 30 year old adult made
me on the one hand concerned about this high-wire balance close to crashing.
Neverthe‘less was fearlessness the connection to my own state of mind. I had
internalized my capacities in formulating my point of view by means of a straight
photography. I had been self-confident about the importance of my work and
conceived it as a statement against submission.

In parallel I have photographed DEUTSCHE VOLKSFESTE, commissioned by
STERN Magazine.

You published a book with this series. How do you consider books
in your practice?

A book provides a presence and permanence you can not wipe off. It is a mobile
presentation that travels the world. It has a tactile quality, is limited and precious.
I realize my projects over years, collect images, estimate their quality in comparison
to each other and finally reduce them to the necessary minimum. When a body of
work is ready to be published, it is intended to be both, an exhibition and a book.

Finally, what does the name of the project "THE SMELL OF DUST"
evokes to you?

A dusty throat awaiting a cold beer.


Published in 2015 // THE SMELL OF DUST

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