I discovered Lotte Reimann’s work during the last edition of Art Brussels. Wandering around inside the fair, I noticed there was a small bookstore, exhibiting the latest releases of the season. While checking out all of the titles on display, something caught my attention: it was a book by Lotte. Titled Jaunt, it is a photography book which stands out for its portrayal of beauty in sex and violence and was inspired by nude (self) portraits of an amateur photographers couple, found on a picture sharing website. Captivated, I decided to ask Lotte a few questions.
Hi Lotte, where are you from and how long have you been taking photographs?
Hi Andrea, I was born and raised in a small town near Hamburg in Northern Germany. Classically, it was always my father who took the family pictures. He had a fascinating SLR camera and unfortunately I was never allowed to use it. I guess due to my constant nagging I was given my first camera when I turned eight.
We’ve been following you for some time and we consider you one of the most interesting upcoming photographers of the moment. Is your photography a chronicle of the world around you? Tell us about this journey.
Hmm, I guess you could say so. Autobiographic moments have always played a big role in my work, although I lately shifted my focus from a very personal one to an editor’s perspective. Since I started working with found footage from the Internet, I am looking at other people’s autobiographic material.
Is the theme of violence always present in your photographs?
In a way, yes. But I would rather describe it as a rough way of feeling your own physical existence. Not all my works contain violence, but physical sensation for sure.
Which art forms inspire you? Literature? Cinema? Painting?
Definitely literature and cinema. John Fante, J.G. Ballard, David Cronenberg, to name some of my heroes. But I am also inspired by photography itself. Mainly amateur photography.
Painting has never really been a muse to me, but times change. The work I am busy with at the moment will probably contain some pictures of paintings, too. But, you see, in the end it’s always the photographic image or reproduction I am busy with.
Which is your favorite series in your portfolio, and why?
Ha, that’s a funny question. I guess it is mostly the one that’s in the making. You know, a work that is not finished yet constantly accompanies you, 24/7. If you don’t love it, it’s gonna kill you.
Would you choose a picture of yours and tell us what went on “behind the scenes” ?
As most of the images I use are found footage, I can hardly tell a classy “behind the scenes” story, since I wasn’t present when the original image was made. But to let you glimpse behind my scenes, you can picture me sitting at the desk, a fabric covering head, computer and camera to protect the screen from sunlight reflections. Haha. What a classy image.
Are there any subjects that you absolutely avoid photographing?
And who might be the photographers who affected you the most?
Hard to answer. I’m a big fan of Richard Prince’s work. But he’s hardly a photographer. Then there are Claude Cahun, Boris Mikhailov, Hans-Peter Feldmann. I guess they don’t really have things in common, but rather triggered different subjects that really interest me.
What are you working on now, and what are your projects for the future?
At the moment I am collaborating with Sonia de Jager in an audio-visual project. She’s preparing a sound installation and I’m responsible for the visuals. As for the image part it is a very subjective research into figurative passions for fabric. This is acoustically interwoven in Sonia’s sounds, too.
We will be in a week-long residency at Studio47 in Amsterdam in mid June to develop the project in space and we will open doors to the public on Saturday, 20. Please, feel warmly invited if you’re around!
Text: Andrea Ferrer