The time is drawing near. That’s right, it’s almost Berlin Art Week, and we’re getting excited! So, because we can’t wait and we know you can’t either, we’ve brought you an interview with Karen Irmer, one of the very special artists exhibiting at Preview Berlin Art Fair at Tempelhof Airport. Ms. Irmer is associated with the gallery Zweigstelle Berlin at the Fair, but unfortunately won’t be in Berlin during Preview Berlin since she’s currently doing a residency in Omaha, Nebraska, but we had the chance to catch up with her nonetheless, thanks to some quite handy internet techonology!
If you haven’t seen Irmer’s atmospheric photographs yet, you can check her work out here. We hope you enjoy the eerie landscapes and quiet spaces as much as we do. And now, the woman behind the art:
BAPS: What are the themes you explore in your work?
KI: My work is all about perception. Each person perceives reality in a different way. We are sometimes experiencing one and the same incident quite differently as if it wouldn’t have been the same event. Things change through different eyes and during the remembering process – but the changes are subtle and invisible, so that we don’t realize it ourselves. I am interested in the border between reality and veritableness.
BAPS: Your artwork uses a lot of greys and whites. Why do you work mostly with these colors in particular?
KI: I want to create a world that is parallel to the existing one. By using only shades of grey and very subtle colors the images are drifting away from reality and creating their own trueness. I am interested in giving rise to an atmosphere of dignity and majesty, not an “effigy” of reality. And I am not at all attracted to special-effects or high-end-photography either. That’s not what art should be about. I want to attract an audience emotionally.
BAPS: What is your work process like? Do you do a lot of planning or do you work spontaneously?
KI: My planning consists in the conception of how to arrange the images to get a coherent setting. The pictures themselves are taken in a very spontaneous way during trips in nature or somewhere outside. You can’t plan magic moments, you have to catch them at the right second.
BAPS: What made you decide to become an artist?
KI: It wasn’t a decision. I think I was always attracted by small, and in a way – at least in the first glance – unimportant things and observations. And I wanted to do something that is connected to my person, something life affirming.
BAPS: Do you have any long term art goals, or dreams you would like to fulfill?
KI: I am concentrating on the next steps – developing new works and preparing my next show that will be together with Leta Peer and that is connected with the 5th European Month of Photography in Berlin. In my opinion it is better not to plan too much, but to let things go. If I remain concentrated on doing my work, things will evolve.
BAPS: What are you expectations for Preview Art Fair Berlin?
KI: In the last two years the Preview Berlin played an important role for my international career. The last years show in Tel Aviv was a direct effect of this art fair. And out of that, in a way, resulted the group-show “Behind Landscape/Hinter der Landschaft” in the H2 – Center for Contemporary Arts in the Glaspalast Augsburg, that will last till the 7th of October.
I won’t be able to participate in Berlin this year, because I’ll still be in the U.S., as an Artist-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. Of course, I do hope that some people will be attracted to my work so that new challenging projects will arise.
Tempelhof Airport Preview Berlin Art Fair. September 14th – 16th 2012: 1-8pm.