Mar 11, 2019
Anna Katharina is a German photographer who creates visual stories related to her dreams, memories and interests. Her series "If you can dream it, you can do it" is an intimate journey of finding and transition embedded in a period of beautiful uncertainty. It is a personal collection of scenes that depicts an adventurous time before settling down, which in turn helps us to recreate our own memories and to remember the feelings associated to those times.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
AKZ - Thanks to you! I am a fine art photographer currently based in Berlin. My work investigates the nature of transition and the relation between dream and reality. I studied Photography at the Munich State Academy of Photographic Design. After graduating I moved to New York City. Between 2006 and 2010 I received five grants to live and work in Chile, Spain and India. I have taken part in exhibitions at relevant institutions for contemporary photography all over the world. My work also appeared in a number of international publications and is in public and private collections. Currently I am showing my new body of work „ If you can dream it, you can do it“ in a solo show at Münchner Stadtmuseum (Munich City Museum). The show runs until the end of April. The opening coincided with the release of my first monograph „ If you can dream it, you can do it“, published by Kehrer Verlag. Parallel to creating personal projects, I lead artist workshops and photography courses. Teaching is very important to me and fulfills me to an equal part as the making of work.
am - How did you start in photography?
AKZ - It is not like I always took pictures as a child. My parents and my grandparents took many photographs when I was a kid. I remember how magical it was to me looking at the family albums. At the age of sixteen, I got my first camera. Ever since I began taking pictures. In a way I started it all of a sudden and the more I do it, the more I’m into it. Through photography I am able to meet and talk to people from very different backgrounds. People I normally wouldn’t meet. It makes me understand how many things are extremely subjective.
If you immerse yourself in a situation, something will invariably happen. If you realize how doors can open, you get addicted to that and will act accordingly. You are more open and things happen faster. It also fascinates me that a medium can seem to be so close to reality yet be so unrelated to the real. I pay a lot of attention to my dreams, memories, and interests. This is what I make my work with and about. I guess all of it influenced me in some way or another as well.
am - What is “If you can dream it, you can do it” about?
AKZ - It is a collection of scenes that I took between 2014 – 2018, while my life often felt like one long string of layovers. I had an infinite curiosity about the world, and was constantly on the move to explore it.
Over the last decade I have lived in New York City and Berlin and spent some time in South America, India and Spain. I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of new people, but often I felt in transition and was longing for coming home.
Two years ago, I finally arrived and settled down with my husband in Berlin. I am still fascinated by my new identity as lover, wife and possibly mother.
My photographs are a journey back to that time, when everything was ongoing, with no beginning, no middle and no end. A time which was challenging and rewarding; a time of realization, and learning; a place of growing and searching for that next stage where I am now.
I use metaphors of my own memories to describe the restlessness and disorientation I felt in my life. Time and space remain undetermined, a projection screen for our individual assessments, a no man’s land populated with our personal fears and desires. It only comes into being through the arrangement of the pictures and the respective gaze.
This body of work is like a poem that wants to be re-visited over time. It implies multiple ways to read and interpret it. „If you can dream it, you can do it” eventually challenges to explore its multiple beginnings, middles and ends, everyone can find its own stories and dreams in it.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
AKZ - It is a tough question to answer since there are quite a few. Among others: Alec Soth, Jeff Wall, Martin Parr, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Stephen Shore, Nan Goldin, Robert Frank, Todd Hiddo, Andrew Phelps.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
AKZ - I don't think I have a favorite movie, but the first one that comes to my mind, and which I enjoyed very much was "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind".
am - What is your favourite photo book?
AKZ - "Sleeping by the Mississippi" by Alec Soth.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
AKZ - Thanks for having me! I am extremely honored and thankful for putting my work alongside so many inspiring artists featured in your magazine.
All images © Anna Katharina Zeitler