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Tas­te, sen­se and dreams with Ste­fan Dotter

Michael Ballhaus once said ‘For me behind the camera, it was an act of love’, and same applies to Stefan Dotter.

If anything, the works of his might be best descri­bed as roman­tic, drea­my and cal­ming. Whe­ther he marks a moment of sheer spon­ta­ne­ous or sta­ged act, the­re will always be that trace of inti­ma­cy and vul­nera­bi­li­ty in all his pho­to­gra­phy — that pro­bab­ly might have to do a lot with a fact that he as a per­son is exact­ly like his pho­to­gra­phy. Ste­fan is trea­ding a fine line bet­ween kee­ping things pri­va­te yet public at the same time, and with a new exhi­bi­ti­on com­ing up (Ste­fan will par­ti­ci­pa­te in a group show cal­led: For­get Fear, ope­ning 16th of Decem­ber 2016 at Ver­nis­sa­ge, Ber­lin), now was the per­fect time to sit down with him and talk tas­te, sen­se, and dreams.

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Why pho­to­gra­phy?
I feel like we are all sear­ching for ans­wers in life. Some find it in reli­gi­on or phi­lo­so­phy, through their work , drugs, wha­te­ver — you name it. Pho­to­gra­phy is my medi­um of explo­ring the unde­finab­le varia­bles of beau­ty, natu­re and rela­ti­ons­hips. I have a who­le lot of rea­sons in my head right now but ulti­mate­ly it’s may­be my way of avoiding to cope with rea­li­ty too much.

You come from a fami­ly of archi­tects, how come you are not one?
Being a pho­to­gra­pher is my late teena­ge rebellion.

How do your par­ents feel about the work you do?
My mother gets upset when she sees fema­le nudi­ty in my pic­tures. Apart from that she show­ca­ses me as a pos­ter child. She’s the cutest. They are both very proud of me and that gives me the most.

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What did you want to be gro­wing up?
An archi­tect, duh. The­re was a time in my life whe­re I wan­ted to play the game of money at Wall Street so I stu­di­ed busi­ness. The purcha­se of my first came­ra saved me from that sad world and gave me back a sen­se of humanity.

You do so much dif­fe­rent work… You are a publis­her and Edi­tor-in-Chief of White­lies maga­zi­ne, you paint, you wri­te, you take pho­to­graphs… Do you do all that stuff just to fill up your time so you don’t have any time left for thin­king?
No. I take my time for thin­king. It’s rather that I use it to avoid was­ting my time in social situa­tions whe­re I feel uncom­for­ta­ble. It’s 11pm on a fri­day right now and I had to” bail out from a bar night to ans­wer this interview.

What do you fear most?
Beco­m­ing emo­tio­nal­ly numb. Or blind.

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Do you think the per­fect pic­tu­re’ exists?
Not any­mo­re. When I star­ted out, per­fec­tion was ulti­mate­ly what I was cha­sing all the time. I con­si­der mys­elf a reti­red per­fec­tio­n­ist now.

Who, in your opi­ni­on, did come clo­sest to per­fec­tion?
Richard Ave­don.

Whe­re do you find beau­ty?
In women mainly….

How do you deci­de what is worth pho­to­gra­phing and what is a was­te?
If the space bet­ween the scene/​subject and me isn’t fil­ling up with some sort of emo­tio­nal ener­gy I don’t press the shutter.

Are you impul­si­ve while taking pho­tos or do you wait for the right moment?
Depends. When I’m docu­men­ting I make mys­elf invi­si­ble and cap­tu­re the right moments, ide­al­ly when my sub­ject isn’t awa­re of being pho­to­gra­phed. Invi­si­bi­li­ty is a power­ful tool.

Who are some of your heroes?
Jamie Haw­kes­worth is pret­ty cool. Oh and my men­tor Sebran D’Argent.

What was the last book you read?
Free­dom from the known” by Jid­du Krish­na­mur­ti, a new per­spec­ti­ve on the spi­ri­tu­al approach told through the life­work of the author.

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What is on your list for 2017?
Making pho­to­gra­phy gre­at again.

Last song you lis­tened to?
This very moment I’m lis­tening to The Vanis­hing Ame­ri­can Fami­ly” by ScubaZ.

Do you dream during the day or night?
Always- I can’t tell the dif­fe­rence some­ti­mes. Rea­li­ty is merely an illu­si­on any­way, albeit a very per­sis­tent one. Some­ti­mes we live in a night­ma­re, from which I wake in sleep from time to time.

Your favo­ri­te tas­te?

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Smell that reminds you of your child­hood?
The typi­cal Rudolf Stei­ner kin­der­gar­den smell.

Did you have ima­gi­na­ry friends gro­wing up?
Alt­hough I was a loner I never pro­jec­ted my split per­so­na­li­ty to the out­side I guess.

Do you think soli­tu­de is bliss?
Abso­lute­ly. It’s pain­ful in youth, but gets deli­cious in the years of maturity.

12 Dez. 2016 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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