Cheap & Plastique interviews Berlin-based photographer Anne Lass for Issue 8.
C & P: Where do you currently live?
Anne: Berlin, Germany.
C & P: What do you like most about living in Berlin? Least? Is this where you grew up?
Anne: I have lived in Berlin for three years now. I like the atmosphere, the architecture and urban planning of the the city which—mainly because of it`s history—makes the city unique. In winter Berlin gets pretty ugly, but then again, most places do…
C & P: Is Berlin still the bustling, creative, inexpensive city that it has been portrayed to be in the arts media over the last 10 years?
Anne: Definitely. It is one of the few capitals where one is able to have a high life quality without needing a lot of money.
C & P: How long have you been taking and exhibiting photographs? What drew you to the medium and why did you choose to pursue it seriously?
Anne: As a teenager I attended a darkroom course. The work with photography immediately fascinated me and has done ever since.
C & P: What type of camera do you shoot with? A digital SLR or a film camera?
Anne: I most often use a medium format film camera.
C & P: Do you use the computer as a tool when creating your photographs? Do you ever use Photoshop as an editing tool when finalizing a body of work?
Anne: I scan my negatives and sometimes adjust a few things if it makes the image stronger.
C & P: Your work has been described as the documentation of “non-places.” What draws you to photograph subject matter that cannot necessarily be linked to a particular time and place?
Anne: To me these places work well as “stages” for situations happening in them. One can easily use them as projections for ones own memory or experience. Yet I am curious to see if in the future we will be able to link these places to a specific time, maybe we are just not able to see it yet, as we are in the middle of it.
C & P: A lot of your pictures are people-free, which makes them feel somewhat artificial and a bit odd. Do you prefer to photograph places that are void of humans?
Anne: It depends on the project, but mostly I prefer a combination of both.
C & P: Do you find yourself drawn to places that seem mysterious, where strange things might be happening behind a closed door or around a foggy bend?
Anne: I do like to enter unknown and odd places, photography helps to access them.
C & P: When you do photograph people in the city they are often tiny amongst large architectural structures and unaware that they are being photographed. Are you commenting on human’s relationship to their architectural surroundings (how architecture dwarfs human scale) and the way architecture influences ones daily experience?
Anne: My project Geography of Nowhere was definitely about this: conflicts of functionalism and individual development, the association with nature, the concourse of construction and vastness and, last but not least, to human interaction.
C & P: How do you scout out locations for photo series? Do you research places on the internet? Or do you randomly travel somewhere with the hope of finding something interesting to shoot there?
Anne: I search for places on the internet, if i am looking for specific sites as in my project about landscape erosions. If I am not looking for a specific place I let chance bring me to the right place, sometimes it works.
C & P: What artists do you admire?
Anne: I like the works of Beate Gütschow, Taryn Simon, Sophie Calle, Edward Hopper, Gordon Matta-Clark amongst many others…
C & P: What people / places / things inspire you?
Anne: I am sure that you can sense that when looking at my images…
C & P: What could you imagine doing, if you didn’t do what you do?
Anne: I will think about that when I stop doing what I do, which will most probably never happen.
C & P: Where can we find your portfolio website?