WHAT A SENSATIONAL DUO! Beijing. Nanchang. Changsha. Shangai. Guangzhou. Foshan. Xiaoshan. Zhenzhou… and more. Oh, …
Could you tell us more about the story of your collaboration?
We have known each other for many years now and started to work together on a nude project several years ago. During that project we discovered that we have two things in common: the way we work with people and a similar notion of how an image should be composed or aesthetically designed. We contribute different skills and sometimes different opinions but our collaboration is based on a solid ground of trust and joint evaluations of every step and every process. The best thing about working as a duo is that we encourage each other to elaborate elicit the best possible result. After Eileen graduated in Design in 2012 we started to built up our own studio.
Fashion (photography) is basically a repetitive collection of gestures, shapes and styles. We love the creative, sometimes disturbing aspect of it more than the luxury & lifestyle it promises.
In fashion photography we learnt a lot about working in a big team, different light setups, organization of editorial shoots and elaborating our own style of images. Very quickly we found out that we’re most interested in creating a new look for every shoot and working on conceptual projects with different collaborators.
What about your academic background?
Eileen graduated in Design and I studied philosophy, literature and design, but never graduated. Our academic backgrounds are only on the periphery of our everyday work. Most of what we do photographically is self-taught and the result of a strong experimental curiosity.
Berlin, known also as “The place to be”, is really the right place to be and realize your dream? Could another city or country give you more than Berlin in term of incitement? How is the competition in the photography industry in Berlin?
What makes Berlin fascinating for us is that it seems to never run out of incompleteness. The city is flooded with many talented, creative people from all kinds of disciplines every year and although it’s changing and it’s getting harder to find tumble-down houses and spots to built up alternative exhibition spaces, bars or even residencies, it seems that the city also never runs out of people who have crazy, new ideas of possible alternative lifestyles.
Maybe another city could be a better place to work and get paid accordingly. Maybe another city could be the right place to get together with even more talented and internationally networking and working people. But Berlin is the right city to dream because it provides the means to live easily and free.
There are a lot of excellent photographers located in Berlin. But we don’t think of them in a competitive sense, rather as inspirations. It’s wonderful to be inspired by other artists, writers, scientists.
Interesting and fascinating collaborations you have started so far?
The first project, SKINWALKER, which developed as a collaboration between the artist Diana Wehmeier and us, started out as an experiment to blur the lines between painting and photography and evolved as a series, which included a performance piece with dancers and a musician. It culminated in our first solo exhibition last year at Galerie Irrgang. We continued the collaboration by creating another interdisciplinary video / performance installation with Diana Wehmeier at a Science / Art Festival last year. The video will be presented again in April at the gallery.
It’s cheerful to bring different disciplines together to change the atmosphere in a certain space. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the extraordinary artist Diana Wehmeier for two incomparable years. Also we love to work with dancers, because a dance performance can transport expressions to the viewer more directly. No photography or video can get even close to the notion you get when you experience a live dance performance.
Which are the main obstacles/challenges encountered in these years since you have opened your studio?
The main part of our everyday work, maybe 80% of what we’re doing, has nothing to do with taking photographs. But you have to love organizing, communicating with different people, get together at several events, acquiring new jobs etc. to work as photographer.
Sometimes it can take 48h in order to get everything prepared and organized accordingly. Maybe one of the main obstacles we have had to face was the realization that you are responsible for a healthy, so-called “work/life – balance”. Your work cannot be half-hearted, but you can also lose focus if you don’t pause your workflow once in a while.
The goal or goals you would like to reach in the future.
There are many artists we would like to work with. We have new ideas we would like to carry out in the upcoming years. There are also some magazines and galleries where we would like to be published and exhibited. But on a long-term perspective, we just wanna keep on doing what we do. Maybe build up a bigger studio, but simply keep on creating and elevating.
Would you like to add anything about you for the readers to know ?