Lennart Normann on Minimal Space
"I love to create 'worlds' - but there is also enough objectivity that leaves a say for the subject itself."
Lennart Normann, a photographic artist based in Berlin, creates emotive images that depict a surreal narrative of public space. His subjects are mostly geometric urban space devoid of people although rich in human influence. Capturing space without a human subject is how Normann strives to achieve an objective view of human construction; he's subtracting 'distractions, reducing and creating negative space'. His work appealed to us because of it's soft, grainy focus - reminding us of a Rinko book only more contrasty and edgy. He's obviously experienced in using the tactile quality of film photography.
Abstract: Lennart Normann is a Berlin based photographer. I don't plan to tell stories through my work, I want to evoke a certain mood, an atmosphere. Minimalism is on the one hand a reflection of my personal taste and sense of aesthetic, on the other hand a balance and a way to create a world I d like to live in. Intrigued and often inspired by design and geometry, architecture, spaces and silence. I try to get rid of distractions, reduce and create negative space, - visual and emotional. I like to give my work some kind of a surreal touch and prefer to leave the interpretation up to the viewer, inviting them to dream.
PW: Tell us about you and your artwork
LN: My Name is Lennart Normann, I graduated in Photography 2 Years ago. I´m living in Berlin, shooting film only.
I don't plan to tell stories through my work. I am more interested in creating atmosphere and in evoking feelings, leaving the interpretation up to the viewer.
PW: How did you plan for this Project?
LN: The project is still ongoing, I rarely plan shots and I don't like to stage things. I alway carry a camera and with the time I learned a lot about my photographic patterns and about what catches my eye and what works for me.
There is always a general "vision" but I don't plan to much because I don't want to loose this "flow-effect" that I don't really have when setting Images up - the relief is not the same.
I decided for colour and more and more for using medium format. That's it.
PW: What work inspires or has inspired? (Specifically which artists and why)
LN: I'm inspired a lot by William Eggleston and Saul Leiter , I like the work of Daido Moriyama, Rinko Kawauchi, Ryan McGinley...because their work touches something inside me. But I also love to take a look over the edge of the photography-world . I really enjoy good video- and animation art, design, movies , drawings/sketches - for example the works of M.C Escher and René Magritte influenced me for a long time.
PW: Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
LN: Surrealism, contemporary art, expressionism... why - is a hard question - I like what I feel.
PW: Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
LN: There is this kind of a "less-is-more"- philosophy that I try to apply to many parts of my life. And I think this also reflects in my photography.But its not a dogma. I have not felt the urge to produce idealistic or political work by intention yet. And I don't want to limit what the viewer can take from my Images - I don't use titles because of that for example..
PW: I loved the ambience of this series. You use mood and affect to evoke an emotional response in an audience. What is your emotional response to your own work? It’s highly subjective but relays something purely objective to the reader. Possibly the minimalist approach?
LN: Minimalism on the one hand is a reflection of my personal taste and sense of aesthetics, on the other hand a balance and a way to calm down, focus, get rid of distraction visual and emotional. I love to create "worlds" -but there is also enough objectivity that leaves a say for the subject itself. I'm often told my work is melancholic- I'm not intending that and never felt that conscious.I am most satisfied by the pictures that bring back the same feeling I had when shooting it.
PW: Any words for aspiring photographic artists?
LN: Uh, am I really in the position to give advices... I am still asking for advice a lot. In terms of photography I would say- play as much as possible, definitely try film, enjoy the process, work hard and be self critical.
PW: Is there anything you’re currently working on?
LN: I am very excited to take part in a group exhibition in NYC next month (June). There is also a solo show in Germany later this summer and I hope there will be my next small book at the end of 2017.