Monthly Archives: May 2010

An interview with Anne Schwalbe


The photographs of Anne Schwalbe are subtle observations of quiet scenes, capturing subjects that seem to transcend a specific time/place/situation. I imagine this gives a viewer the opportunity to connect with the image in a very personal way, to do something with the image in their own moment. Intrigued by her images, I was inspired to do a short interview and hear more about her background and her inspiration.

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Could you give a short history of yourself?
Anne Schwalbe
:  I grew up in Berlin. I developed my first black and white print in the 6th class. After school I wanted to do an apprenticeship at a photo shop, but nothing worked out. I decided to give up photography and study German Studies and Cultural Studies. That was not the right thing for me. During these studies I began to do photography at a little Lab for young people in Berlin. In 2003 I started to study photography at the Ostkreuz School for Photography with Ute Mahler and Werner Mahler in Berlin. Since then I work solely on photography.

The Sonic Blog described your work as ‘typically German’. Do you think there is a ‘typical German style’? How does your work fit into it?
Anne Schwalbe:  I think there is a typical German style, but I never had the feeling that I really fit into it. Nevertheless, the Sonic Blog said that he feels that my photography is somehow typically German in a way he cannot label more clearly. I like this comment, especially that he can’t describe my work.

What are some things/people/moods that inspire your work?
Anne Schwalbe:  Emptiness, abstract things, monochrome paintings, sculptures, nature, silence, fun, to be in the middle of the nowhere together with people I like.

Nature is recurrent in your photos. Where does this interest come from?
Anne Schwalbe:  I grew up in a town, but I really need to be in the nature. In a city there are too many cars, people, noise and not enough trees, silence and empty space.

I really like how you focus on the details and get really close; showing a lot by showing just a little. What is the motivation for this?
Anne Schwalbe:  Thank you. It just developed. It was not my plan. I am interested in these things.

How do you think people experience your photography?
Anne Schwalbe:  So many people, so many ways.

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The Between

The Land Between Here and Mountains, a photography blog with images that capture the journey between here and there. Above: between a cloud covered sky and a snow covered street (dave geeting). Below: between having nothing to do and getting sort of lost in the woods (joshua whitelaw)

But I used to be so sweet

Hair, hair. Everywhere. (via unicornology)

At The End

While browsing the lovely work on Derik’s blog, I was amused with the image that came at the end of each page: Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei (everything has an end, only the sausage has two).

Best ending ever.

The Backstory

Several productions give a closer glimpse of the photographers who won World Press Photo awards this year and the stories behind their photos. Pietro Masturzo discusses his career in ‘Talking about Photography‘ and video interviews present a firsthand account from the photographers. Highlights include Charles Ommanney, Eugene Richards, Kent Klich, Gareth Copley, Olivier Laban-Mattei and Malick Sibidé.

Photo by Pietro Masturzo

Die Stadt. Vom Werden und Vergehen

While in Berlin last weekend, I attended the opening of the exhibition Die Stadt. Vom Werden und Vergehen (The City. Becoming and Decaying) at C|O Berlin in partnership with Ostkreuz. The exhibition features photography by 18 Ostkreuz photographers who have ’embarked on a search for the essence of present-day urban realities’. It was a long-term project that covered 22 cities around the world, depicting urban growth and decay. The exhibition runs until 4 July.
Above image: Pactrick B. Mitchell, Leland Hotel, Detroit, USA, 2009 by Dawin Meckel/Ostkreutz