This is Waterfall’s interview with Andreas Schimanski in March 2012.
Where are you based?
Could you describe your work for us?
In my art work I investigate the medium photography as material. I explore questions of haptics, space, structure time, surface, process of the photographic material itself. To me the photographic image is like colour for a painting – I create and compose my picture or parts of it with a camera and / or with the tools of Photoshop.
What do you think makes a piece of your work successful?
I’d rather ask: what makes an image successful? Considering, the average viewing time of a picture in an exhibition is about 10 sec – this becomes more and more difficult. There are no single images exhibited any more but image series and cycles. Every image is related, linked or connected with the next one, with another one. To look into one single picture becomes an uncommon experience. That’s why I would call an image successful when it stops you, when we recognise it as a single picture and give it some closer, deep looks.
Do you have a creative process you can share with us?
Well, that’s not really news. I trust experience and intuition. And both have to be trained by steady work. You need to work a lot to build up confidence in your ideas, concepts, creations. I understand work as a playful process, it even leaves room for chance and accident to find out what approach the picture might follow.
How have you got to the stage you’re at now?
Running away from home? Growing older? Becoming an architect? Studying fine arts? Visiting museums, galleries, flickr, tumblr-blogs? Fear and sorrow? Passion and love? I really don’t know, I guess, every day made it happen.
Could you recommend any equipment for our recommendation list?
Yes, get a brush, a spray can, a palette-knife, an eraser. Taking something off or repainting helps you to expose or to strip the idea of the picture. It’s a kind of archaeological excavation. You can do it with analogue tools or use the digital tools of Photoshop. Both ways are my preferred tools.
Would you like to add any books to our reading list?
I am just thinking and wondering about “Linear Manual” (tltr.biz/#linear_manual) and “Doubting” (tltr.biz/#doubting) two readers sampled by the artist Martin Kohout, published by TLTRPreß (tltr.biz) If you want some strange, intense kicks for your brain, here you go.
Have you discovered any good music recently?
Yes, I just got two new vinyls. The very noisy bombastic sound of the latest Mouse on Mars record „Parastrophics“ and in contrast the very sensitive cool e-music sets of Nicolas Jaar “Space is only Noise”. Great music!