Another archived interview from the Ramble Rocket project, this brief interview with photographer Stefanie Schneider was conducted in early 2005 and never published. Stefanie is a German photographer who splits her time between Berlin and Los Angeles. Her images make use of sequential panels, expired film, and desert locations to create a washed out, cinematic quality.
She is currently working on a film and her book Stranger Than Paradise is published by Hatje Cantz Publishers.
Would you give a little bit of background to you and your work?
I grew up in a little sea resort in Northern Germany. In the late eighties I moved to San Francisco where I started to take pictures. When I had a motorbike accident I had to move back to Germany where I studied photography at the University Folkwangschule, Essen before I moved back to California in 1996. Than I started to work with instant film...
Is there a particular reason/philosophy behind your use of multiple images?
Multiple images are like fragments of a storyline or a bigger picture. They leave a lot of room for associations and they invite the viewer to draw assumptions. These activities of the observer are crucial to any art form.
I'm intrigued by the titles of some of your exhibitions (I love you so much it hurts, Rough Cuts, Instant Dreams, gasoline, stay, VOID...) How do you approach titling your works?
Titles should - at their best - pose questions, invite the viewer to draw assumptions and clarify what the artwork might be all about. Titles should also be force full and poetic at the same time. Most of my titles refer to feature films and myths created by the pop culture.
What equipment do you use for your work?
I work with Polaroid instant cameras. All past and present formats depending on the look I want. Recently I also started to work with low resolution web cams.
What are your feelings about film and digital photgraphic work?
The means are not very important for me. After all they are only tools to communicate things about the human condition. Any medium has a certain quality that might suit the intentions or not.
Who are the photographers that you admire?
I'm more interested in Film and Art than Photography. One of my favorites is - of course - Andy Warhol. But there are also many contemporary photographers I like but none that I would point out in particular.
What artists outside photography inspire you?
Günther Grass, John Steinbeck, Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Mallick, Sam Shepard, Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Lars von Trier.
Aside from photography, are there any other artistic endeavors which you pursue?
I've been working on films - features, experimental and documentaries alike..
As a photographer, film editor, director. Currently I'm preparing a feature film project with a couple of friends which will be shot in California.
Can you explain a little bit about the process you use to create your images?
Trial and error is my method of working. I tend to do many instant pictures on location with a rough idea in my mind. Later on I do a lot of thinking, editing and reassembling to put together the sequences. The pictures I have chosen are than re-photographed on negative film. Than I do regular analog C-prints.
Finally, what projects are you/will you be working on in future?
At the moment(2005) I'm in 29 Palms, CA working on A new series entitled Sidewinder with J.D. Rudometkin (writer, musician, actor)
Thank you, Stefanie.
Stefanie Schneider Wiki
Hatje Cantz Publishers