Jun 07, 2018
Anja is a young Swiss photographer who creates powerful contemplative images with the intention to connect and interact with her surroundings. Looking at her narratives, it is possible to see that Anja's images perform at different cognitive levels since they can be both, meditative and at the same time immensely strong, conveying a special tension that makes them very attractive and appealing to decipher.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
AF - I currently live in Basel where I study Visual Communication at the Academy of Art and Design. I’m working on my thesis project right now, which is about the dialectics of nature and technology. Furthermore I think it’s important nowadays not to insist on one technique, but rather considering the use of all types of cameras. As a Graphic Designer I care a lot about materiality in design. I like to give my photo series a consistency over time. It fascinates me how a book can interact with the viewer on many levels.
am - How did you start in photography?
AF - I started using disposable cameras as a child. I became aware of the process of taking a photograph when I got my first analog camera as a teenager. I was and still am very fond of the process and materiality of analog photography. I’ve always just liked to capture things I see – it fascinates me and somehow catches my attention. I try to alert the viewer’s perception of his surrounding world.
am - What is "ab c entlang o" about?
AF - I was looking for unknown shapes of nature and tried to capture places in an unusual way on my three months trip through Sweden. Photographing with analog cameras made me be aware of the slow photographic process, which lets me interact intensively with my surroundings. The images show the melancholic roughness of the landscape in a very delicate way. I’ve created a book with the same title. The title refers to letters, which number diary notes of the journey I’ve made. The notes are written by an author in an expressionistic way and are laid loose in between the pages of the book, so you can decide reading them or either look at the images very quietly.
am - What inspires your work?
AF - For me Inspiration means that I feel drilled to do and create something. Of course, I see scenes and subjects that are worth photographing every day. Moments of light or conversations with people, that give me new ideas. Nevertheless, I mostly get inspired by looking at other artists work or reading and looking at books in order to experience how others deal with ideas and imagination. A book inspires me in different ways, like its material, its dynamic and its rhythm, how images are shown, if it is supposed to read fast or slowly. That’s why I also collect photo books, as they are everlasting, being in my shelf and can be viewed over and over again. It does not have to be a well-known artist, also the small self-publishing books and projects can catch my attention very much. It is important to get inspiration from the present as well as from the past, from well-known and unknown artists.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
AF - It’s Wolfgang Tillmans. He inspires my way of thinking and his work leaves a lasting impression on me. I like the way he displays his photographs in different sizes, printed on various material, how he hangs them interacting with the room, how he creates his books, overlays images. He’s absolutely brilliant.
am - What are your main interests as an artist?
AF - Seeing the unseen.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
AF - Most inspiring was seeing the movie "Nostalghia" from Andrej Tarkovskji. I am stunned by his images based on which you can tell that he also worked as a photographer.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
AF - Currently it is "Deep Spring" from the photographer Sam Contis. Her work centers on a small all-male liberal arts college in a remote desert valley situated east of the Sierra Nevada. Although the theme is somehow foreign to me, looking at the images feels somehow very familiar. Her photographs capture the strange beauty of macro and microcosmic views, of earth and body, of human and animal in the high desert. She brings together new photographs with pictures made by the first students at the college a century ago.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
All images © Anja Karolina Furrer