Matthias Heiderich (website) is an extremely talented photographer based in Berlin. If you haven’t already seen it yet, read our article about him and Christoph Morlinghaus HERE. Matthias answered a few of our questions about his work, his city and his friends. Read on…..
How did you become a photographer ?
Well, that’s a question I ask myself quite often these days. Actually the plan was to become a linguist or similar, at least that’s what I studied in University. When I moved to Berlin in 2008 it was hard to find a job in that field so I spent my time doing internships and side jobs. That year I also decided to buy a camera to do something creative and to fill my new free time. However, I took a lot of pictures, learned to handle a camera and started to upload my work. Over time many people got aware of my work, luckily also people running galleries and printshops, so that step by step I became able to pay bills with that money. Earlier this year I have decided to make this my job. So far it all goes well.
How do you work ? Do you spend a long time on a series, or is it more a spur of the moment kind of thing ?
It depends – there are series I shot in one day in one location. There are other series that took me quite long to finish. I guess it depends on the concept. Some series just focus on single a place or location; others are more about finding similarities in different places.
Do you touch up your images ? If so, how and to what extent ?
Image processing is part of the job. However, I try to take the pictures in a way I don’t have to spend much time retouching, that’s actually not my favourite thing to do. Usually I work on crop, contrast, colours, and before printing I try to get rid of everything that shouldn’t be on a printed image, i.e. dirt and similar.
How do you find the buildings you want to shoot ? Have you ever done a series in a city you didn’t know – how does / would that affect your work ? Could you work in Paris or London for instance ? Is there a city in particular where you would like to shoot ?
Usually I drive through the city by bike without a pre-planned route. Whenever I see something exciting I stop, prepare my camera, and take pictures of it. Well, this usually works and I get 2-3 ok-pictures out of one trip, but there are also days I don’t take a single picture, but that’s ok, I enjoy riding my bike and looking at things. This way of finding places could also work in other cities, if you have time to explore the city and don’t have any deadlines, etc.
I’d love to take pictures in Japanese and Chinese cities, especially Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong.
What has an impact on your work ? Mood, music, literature… ?
Music definitely has a big impact on my mood and therefore also on my work. When I am out shooting I always listen to music, mostly calm, experimental, abstract music.
I know you make music too. How does your music relate to your work ? Have you thought about doing an exhibition where both would be ‘displayed’ to give another dimension to your work and give viewers an insight into your mood, or would you rather keep sound and image separated ?
So far, there hasn’t been a big relation between my music and my photography. I more or less stopped producing music for the moment. But I can imagine producing a soundtrack to a series of photos and exhibit both.
Do you work in any other medium / are you interested in other media ?
So far photography and music production have been my only fields of interest in media. However I just bought a camera which can shoot movies and I was asked to shoot a music video for a band, not sure yet if that is something I will do more often in the future.
Your photos have a quality that remind me of Christoph Morlinghaus (see our article on Morlinghaus and Heiderich here) – one difference though, is that while he shoots mainly interiors, you seem to stay outside, photographing the polished, flat surface that the buildings show to the world. Why is that ?
Christoph Morlinghaus is a photographer I really admire. I found his work around a year ago and was stunned by the quality. I especially like his series about the churches interiors.
True, I usually stay outside, I prefer that to being inside a building. In the beginning the photos were more or less the by-product of my day trips. Being outside, exploring the city or landscapes has been the more important part of this. This has changed a bit now that I try to live from selling my art, but I still try to enjoy every trip and not to think about work too often.
What are you doing these days ? Where can we catch your next exhibition ?
My current exhibition « STUDIEN » is taking place here in Berlin, Greifenhagener Str.64, at Spot Gallery. A book is planned, I am working on this together with a Swedish publisher. Actually I have to spend much time on bureaucracy, that of course, isn’t fun at all. Oh and I am enjoying the foggy weather quite a lot at the moment.
You must know Berlin like the back of your hand. What is your favorite place to take a stroll ? What is your favorite place if you have a spare hour to kill ? Favorite store ? Best place to see some art ? What bar are we likely to find you hanging out with your friends ?
Well, I know a couple of nice places in Berlin. One place where I love to kill time is the old airport Tempelhof. I love to get lost there with my bike. For romantic strolls on a Sunday afternoon I recommend the Tegeler See. I don’t have a favourite store, I avoid shopping when possible. Best place to see art is Camera Work in Kantstraße, and Spot Galerie, of course. Oh and it’s quite difficult finding me in a bar, I rarely go to bars, but I enjoy dancing in clubs, preferably to electronic music. I haven’t found a favourite club yet, but there are many clubs here, new ones open every week and I like to go out exploring nightlife at the weekends, the area around Kottbusser Tor is always a good starting point.
Talking about friends, do you know any artists that you would recommend in particular that you feel are still underrated ? (click on the names for websites)