Mar 23, 2020
Moritz is a German architect and photographer who captures the ordinary in an extraordinary way. With a minimal approach and focusing on small overlooked details, Moritz cleverly reveals those colours and patterns that are present everywhere, but that we normally ignore due to our frenetic lives. Captured across different locations, his series 'normal and boring' is a beautiful collection of everyday life and architectural scenes that invites us to pause and observe what we have around us.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
MW - I'm Moritz Wahl (29), studied architecture in Germany, currently I'm working as an architect in Basel, Switzerland after having worked in Tokyo for about a year and half.
am - How did you start in photography?
MW - I started taking portraits of friends when I was 17, then slowly changed subjects over the years. I did try shooting digital for a while, but switched to film after maybe a year or so because I wasn't really happy with the colours. Now I switch between different 35mm compact cameras and occasionally medium format 6x7.
am - What inspires your work?
MW - Studying architecture definitely influenced how I photograph and developed my interest in the ordinary. I try to avoid taking pictures of spectacular or beautiful known buildings. Other than that, I really think everyday life and our built environment inspires me more than other photographers' or artists' work. In fact I think this is the only way I can actually take pictures, walking around, finding random fragments and scenes I'm personally interested in.
am - What is 'normal and boring' about?
MW - 'normal and boring' is more like a collection or a personal observation than a photographic series. Over the past 5 years I have been taking pictures more or less randomly, but certainly there are repeating themes or concepts like finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, or showing complexity in the most simple, overlooked things, etc. For that reason the work is also not limited to a specific location, but fragments from Japan are mixed with those of Berlin, Morocco, Germany, anywhere really. Whether finding beauty or something else in those objects and scenes, is eventually up to the viewer.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
MW - I have followed the "Becher students" for a long time, especially Thomas Ruff, who explores all kinds of "image-making-methods" rather than photography as we understand it by definition. Wolfgang Tillmans is a big influence when it comes to exploring photography as a medium and certainly also the way he displays his work. I think there is a realness and directness in his photographs that I prefer over most of the technically perfect or fine-art photographers' work. Recently my interest in the boundary of the photographic medium and the boundary to installation/art has grown as well, therefore the work of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs has caught my attention. In the end I think I'm more interested in the image itself than how it was made, if it's a collage or photograph or a mix of methods/mediums.
am - What is your favourite movie?
MW - Everything by Wong Kar-Wai is good, especially 'Chungking express', favourite movie might be 'Love Exposure' or 'Oldboy' (the Korean version). It's a bit like with photography, I prefer the slightly weird, unique ones. I certainly prefer the aesthetics of Asian cinema.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
MW - I do like Wolfgang Tillmans' books as well, they are rather specific and usually not just a collection of "nice-looking" photographs. If it has to be a single photo book I'd recommend Lars Tunbjörk's 'Retrospective'.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
MW - Thank you!
All images © Moritz Wahl