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Anna-Lena Krause is a visual artist from Berlin, currently based in London. Her work often explores sociological and cultural phenomena in modern societies, focusing primarily on perception and memory. In particular, she questions how ideas we have of ourselves are shaped by the environments we are nurtured in.
The work investigates the dialog between the external and the internal, the other and the self and the entanglement that happens in between to highlight how fragile and dependent memory is in relation to our perception.
Combining photography, film and sculpture she looks at how different forms of representation can highlight the differences in our shaping of ideas of the world. The work suggests that perception, like memory, is not a passive but an active action; our wholeness and continuity aren’t a given but made by us.
Krause has had various group exhibitions including the Rencontres Des Arles, the European Months of Photography, ‘Sweet Harmony‘ at Saatchi Gallery, London and ‘No Photos on the Dance Floor‘ at C/O Berlin. Her work has been published among others in British Vogue, Sleek Magazine, Oyster, and WWD.
You spend your time shooting between London & Berlin, can you tell us a little about the two cities and why you’re based between them?
I come from Berlin. I grew up and did my BA there. I love Berlin. It’s an incredible place, very open, free and inspiring. A wonderful place to create.
I moved to London last year to do my MA at the Royal College of Art. London has a different pace, it’s fast moving and there is a different mentality towards art. It’s more serious, it’s a business. Both places allow a different thinking space and I love the different approaches they each offer to art, culture and life.
If not either of those where could you see yourself living?
I’d like to explore Japan. Many artists and writers that inspire me either come from or are based there.
Shortly before the first lockdown in the beginning of the year I spent a month in Mexico City, which I would love to return to for a longer period of time.
I think living in new places is a very liberating experience. I moved to London last year and I will stay a couple more – 5 years seems to be a good amount of time to get to know a place.
We love the element of fashion photography in your personal work, do you find they cross over a lot?
I believe that everything is entangled. It’s impossible to think of the two separate from one another. Both my artistic work and my fashion work originate in me and are therefore always influenced and inspired by each other.
What got you into photography initially?
For the first 9 years of my life I was an only child, so I spent a lot of time alone, entertaining myself. I loved watching the world around me. I have always been a very visual person and I remember being fascinated by perspective.
How in a photograph everything became flat and objects that were meters apart in three dimensional space could touch in a picture. Photography felt like the right tool to be able to explore what I was naturally curious about.
What is your current go to set up?
It is constantly changing. I feel like each body of work is unique and I therefore like to change the tools I work with, to find the one that fits, that feels right for the piece. Since my practice deals with perception, I enjoy playing with different mediums that capture it.
How has the pandemic throughout 2020 affected your work?
The pandemic made us slow down, and in many ways has allowed us to take a step back and reflect on our lives. Like many others, I took this time to cut out unnecessary noise and find new focus. I think it is important when life-altering events take place to view them as an opportunity to grow despite the confinement.
Can you describe to us your shooting style and the feelings you try to explore?
My work is very collaborative. I usually work with my friends or people I know. The work is about them so it’s important for me to have an understanding of who they are before we start working together.
I am really interested in perception and memory. Although we share space and time and have shared experiences, our understanding of the experiences varies greatly based on who we are.
Seeing is not seeing the real world, but seeing the world through our perception of it, perceptions steeped deeply in our meanings and experiences. There is a term, called the Rashomon effect, which describes that if various witnesses of an event share the same story, we know it is a lie.
Memory is incomplete, interrupted by silences and jumps. Our wholeness and continuity aren’t a given, but instead are made by us, in us, and therefore become diversified. Perception is not a passive but an active action that I enjoy exploring.
What’s next for 2021?
I am quite excited for the coming year, I have a few exhibitions coming up. I have also been using this year to create a lot of new work I am really enthusiastic about.
I used the time in lockdown without access to shooting models to focus on creating sculpture work, which had been on my mind for a long time. There is a beauty in learning new tools, like learning a new language, that allows you new ways to speak.
At the same time it can be like going on a trip, when you return you have a new perspective, altered through your new experiences. Starting to work with sculpture has similarly changed the way I look at my photographic work.
Where can we find you online?