5Q2 - Werner Amann
Thinking outside the box – in our format 5 questions to (5Q2), we talk to the artists of our Instagram takeovers about the work they show, their influences and upcoming plans. In February 2021 we talked to Berlin-based photographer Werner Amann.
Werner Amann is a Berlin-based photographer. He studied photography and film at University of Applied Science Dortmund and London College of Communication. His work has been exhibited at Robert Morat Gallery among others and he published two monographs. His interests are the intersection of culture and image, the interaction of the photographer and the subject and the vibration between documenting and staging.
FOTOTREFF: Did you encounter a special challenge while working on the project you’re showing?
Werner Amann: I wanted to challenge myself to photograph people I had never met before in their very private and intimate space. It’s funny but a feeling of ‘I don’t dare to do this’ can be a good start.
FT: Is there a photographer or artist who influenced you in a special way?
WA: I like to look at and get inspired by a lot of different things, not only photography. My fascination with photography was initially sparked by very classic documentary and reportage photography as well as a mix of postpunk and acid house attitudes & designs and how they were edited and printed in British magazines. I’m also interested in the dynamics of documentary/truth versus interacting/playfulness.
I’m also interested in the attitude with which a photographer approaches a subject and how it translates into the images. For example, Mary Ellen Mark seems to have forged close relationships with the people she photographed, and looking at her work I find it fascinating how that actually translates into her photos.
FT: Which is the favourite photo book you own (or would like to own)?
WA: Photobooks are some of my favorite objects in the world, but you could just as well get inspired by anything else, like life or the digital. Having said that, there are a couple copies left of my book Surf Fiction.
And for myself I would love to have a book by Atget.
FT: Is there any memorable photography exhibition that inspired you?
WA: I managed to see Michael Schmidt at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin before everything closed, it was great. I hope museums will open again very soon and I want to go see ‘Masculinities’ at Martin Gropius Bau. There’s also a book accompanying it, which one can check already.
FT: Have you started working on a new project? Any beans to spill?
WA: I seem to have a habit of working simultaneously on several projects. Because of Covid, I am also editing right now: the project I am showing here at Fototreff, a series on plants, a project about the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, video interviews and my reportage work.