I. Genzken: Yes. Basically, I can read your photography and see what moves you. What really moves you and not just faked emotion. I don’t think it’s good when it’s like that in art – but unfortunately it often is. That’s why I like Bruce Nauman, for example, as a sculptor. With his work, sometimes I have really thought to myself, that’s simply beautiful.

W. Tillmans: Because he is someone who potentially always uses means that are already there? Because his works are not made up of imaginatively devised forms…

I. Genzken: Above all, it is difficult enough to depict something that moves you deep down inside. But that’s ultimately what art is all about, and that’s also what appeals to people – if an artist can do it.

W. Tillmans: And when the will to create art isn’t the first thing you see, but rather…

I. Genzken: Yes, exactly.

W. Tillmans: … but rather when someone is really interested in something. That’s much more exciting, when someone is interested in something, than when someone is only interested in the will to do something. And, essentially, you can divide art into these two groups. One consists in the will to show: I am making something. And the other arises from an immediate interest in the world and things.

I. Genzken: …I don’t know how to put it… it’s not easy to express it all, but… that’s why I don’t like to give interviews, either…

W. Tillmans: What I just said, for example, is extremely trivialising, when you think, good grief, can you really say that? But when I look at art, that’s basically the way it works for me. Is it conceptual art or not? Is it conceived or is it not conceived? Really, these are taboo areas that this takes you into. Because you are not really supposed to say that…

I. Genzken: But I think we’re a bit similar in that.

W. Tillmans: Do your photographs have a formal structure?

I. Genzken: The first pictures I took were the hi-fi systems, and, of course, they have to do with sounds and music, and they have their own very strong form. Next I photographed the ears. Something organic. Something from the inside out. Coming from the head. I did this ear series in New York and I asked people, women, on the street if I could photograph their ear. Not a single woman said no. Because I didn’t ask for their face, but for something largely anonymous.
 
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Home l Team l Contact l Links l Colophon l Deutsch
Isa Genzken l Nicolaus Schafhausen l Commissioners l Partner l History l Press
A text by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh l A conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans
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