interview with the berliner luft duo

Berliner Luft
the Residence Gallery


The Wall (All rights reserved by the photographers)

The photographers with the guests in the private view opening evening

Famous for its lively art scene, Berlin is undoubtedly Europe's capital of art production over the past decade. Residence Gallery has brought a photography show from Germany to London this month featuring the reborn German capital in the eyes of two young(-ish) german photographers Benjamin Tafel (BT) & Dennis Orel (DO).

Alexanderplatz (All rights reserved by the photographers) 

Originally from Stuttgart and studied visual communications in Weimar, both Benjamin & Dennis are award-winning members of the Art Directors Club, which is a global organisation for visual communication professionals. Here is a short interview with the two photographers about their exhibition -

Coming to Berlin (All rights reserved by the photographers)

Q1: Who were the people featured in the photos? Are they residents of the neighbourhood or just models? Do they have a say in how they are featured?

A: All the people we are shooting with had a background or connection to the situation or location. Our aim was to stage the situations but never lose the connection to reality. The coincidence plays an important part in our work to keep the people in their part of the real life and not to fall in a pose like a fashion model. Our purpose: Everyday life is theatre.

Girl Passing by  (All rights reserved by the photographers) 
Q2: There's an overall tone in all the photos - colours with some kind of hard contrast (or even conflict) and a deliberate use of flash. What is the reason for this take?

A: The use of a calculated composed light is our way to shape out the location or the people to gain a new interpretation out of it. Its a  way of remodelling it with light to stage a situation which shows the viewer a far side. Using the light in this way boosts our graphical view that we use in our work.

Konrad Tönz (All rights reserved by the photographers) 

Q3: If you have to pick your favourite neighbourhood in the city, which would it be?

DO: One of the interesting places right now is in the western part of the city. The bird view from the Top of the Pan Am Lounge. To one side into the penguin area at the Berlin Zoo and to the other the naked people jumping in the rooftop-pool of the "Europa-Therme".

BT: It depends what you're looking for. The southeastern part of Kreuzberg is one of the hotspots at the moment. You still find a neighbourhood that has grown over decades, but a lot of new spots and young creatives move there. The mixture you find there is the key. Turkish greengroceries next to young galleries next to a typical Berlin drinking hole. Because everyday life is theatre!

Video by the Residence Gallery

The duo also has another photo exhibition currently in Kunstschwimmer Berlin called Hundesalon running till 08.07.2011.

Girls at Stutti (All rights reserved by the photographers) 

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Further Readings -
Page: Official facebook Page for Berliner Luft
Page: Official Page of Benjamin Tafel
Page: Official Page of Dennis Orel