ALEXANDER PAUL BRANDES.

AN INTERVIEW.

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Tell me a little about the Polish German border region. How did you get interested in it?

I grew up in a small town not far away from Poland, but it often felt like another world to me. Since the German reunification the wealth gap between Germany and Poland increased constantly. Big market places close behind the border offered cheap food, clothes, cigarettes, gas and hairstyles, resulting in endless lines of cars at the checkpoints. Border towns on the German side were redeveloped, the ones on the polish side decayed.
Today, Poland is part of the EU, the checkpoints and endless lines of cars are gone just like the people searching for a better life. What stays are the ruins of checkpoints, old bunkers, barracks, fortresses and whole cities. And then there is me, exploring this no-man’s-land and trying to find the little stories and strange places.

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You photograph several places. Is there a place that had a great impact on you?

City-Nord in Hamburg. It’s an office district built in the 1960’s and 1970’s and the place, where I began to rethink my way of taking pictures. I feel that this place really got me into photography. It was the first time I did some research and developed a small series about a particular theme.

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You live in Berlin. How does this city influence you as an artist?

Berlin is a place full of historic connections noticeable everyday. East and West are merging together, although the wall remains in its absence. Trying to capture this steady change is an important subject of my work.

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You studies urban planning. What did this add to your work? Or didn’t it? 

First of all studying Urban Planning made me understand that I’m not a planner. It taught me to analyze urban transformation processes and finally led me to documentary photography.

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I rarely see humans in your photographs. Is this done so on purpose? 

It just felt better.

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Is there a picture you have taken and would use a self portrait?

To name one is difficult. But the entirety of my pictures should reveal a little bit of me.

Interview by Amanda M. Jansson

http://alexanderpaulbrandes.com/index.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64199008@N08/

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