Friday, 5 August 2011

Jörn Schirok

Jörn Schirok
Berlin, Germany

You only shoot on film, and don't edit your pictures. Why is that?

One day, I had my father’s old analogue cameras in my hands and these machines just fascinated me. I was already experimenting a little with digital photography, but it didn't captivate me as much. I remember that after using analogue cameras for a while, my good friends bought a "real" DSLR. I thought this would be our breakthrough. Take one picture with all the different apertures and exposure times. But we didn't like the style of the pictures. I just love old things, I love the "click" when I press the shutter and I love to wait for the development of the films. I know that you can make up the old style on Photoshop. But I never liked to work with the computer and to sit there using all the small buttons and making adjustments. I know that editing can be a very beautiful part of the creative process of producing a picture, but eventually, for me these pictures are not "real". This opinion is connected to the documentary style of my pictures, too. When I take a picture of a sunset and somebody tells me what a great sunset this was I don't want to tell him that I just made it up on the computer.

Streaming through the work on your blog, the viewer is traveling to some far away places it seems. Which probably is the picture taken the farthest away from the place you actually live in?

I always liked to travel and I furthermore already lived two times for one year within a totally different culture. So I spend year in Uruguay in in school and took some pictures there, too. But it was all with a digital camera from Aldi (one of the cheapest supermarkets in Germany). On the blog you'll also find pictures from my social service year in Jerusalem.

You're living in Berlin. Do you consider it a 'city of art(ists)'? Do you think that living there has an effect on your work as an artist?

It is a city with loads of artist, that's a fact. Living space is (still) cheap, so young people can afford to not work, but to just live with their parents’ support and to put some colour on some random material. But Berlin is the city of flagpole collectors, too. I mean you can find almost everything here, since it's a big city. But I just experienced something which I think wouldn't have happened to me in another German city. I went to a random coffee shop nearby to ask if they want to exhibit some of my works. This is something quite common here. In this café, they don't only exhibit pictures. There are also works of an Australian artist and another artist showing his work there is from France. They are organizing und curating whole exhibitions with vernissages. I think this is really great! 

You seem to be more of a spontaneous photographer. What is it that catches your eye in specific?

Smooth light in general, especially sunlight in the early evenings or mornings. In the northwest of Germany, where I come from, the wind always comes from the west, where the sea is. So it pushes in clouds all year long. I lived under this grey cheese cover for so long. I fall in love with sunlight every time I see it!

Also one gets the notion that in general you seem to be more interested in showing situations rather than specific people of things. Would you agree?

I think this is because I mostly take pictures when I'm in a specific situation that I consider interesting. All these pictures in which you only see a person (certainly always only handsome people) might be beautiful, but not interesting at all.

If you could plan a trip for the sole purpose of taking pictures, where would you probably go?

The Moon! No, seriously, the whole life is a trip. That is the way I see it. I'm on a trip and take the camera with me.

Are you more often disappointed or more frequently simply surprised if a film turns out to be completely different than you had expected it to be?

There are very few positive surprises, much more negative ones. Looking through your recently developed films can be very frustrating. Maybe around 10% of the pictures I take actually appear on my blog. And this is, I think, a very high rate. Ask people with digital cameras. It's a little about shooting as much as possible.

Life's a trip. Take a look at his work!

1 comment:

Isobelle said...

These photographs are beautiful