Chapter »Bookshelf«: Façades of Brooklyn Heights by Robert Rieger

»In Brooklyn Heights, the hustle and bustle of New York City seems a world away.« Florian Siebeck begins his foreword with an observation that is shared by photographer Robert Rieger. His photo book »Façades of Brooklyn Heights« is a homage to the idyllic streetscape that has been largely preserved since the early 19th century and is now a listed building. The resulting works are a quiet but exciting conversation using visual language that connects photographer and architecture.

Chapter  What brought you to Brooklyn Heights?

Robert Rieger  Over the last two years, I’ve been to New York several times on business and then spent some time there privately. Brooklyn Heights was of course also on the list of places I absolutely had to see. I found it incredibly fascinating to suddenly come from the loud and hectic life of New York to this quiet district that had fallen out of time. It was important to me to convey this sense of time travel with the photographs, which is why I deliberately excluded many references to the present day—cars, CCTV cameras or air conditioning systems—from the photographs.

Chapter  What makes it exciting for you to photograph in a setting that already contains elements of your visual signature?

Robert Rieger It is probably the case with many photographers that they familiarize themselves with themes that also fit into their visual language. But that doesn’t make photography any less complex, because dealing with light and styling is not always easy, especially in public spaces. You have to work around cars, passers-by, billboards and, of course, respect the residents. In terms of light, it is either necessary to plan very precisely when you take photos or you have to be lucky with the desired light.

Chapter  As a photographer, what importance do you personally attach to traditional media such as illustrated books and print of all kinds?

Robert Rieger  For me, it is extremely fascinating to work with the medium of books, as I don’t do much analog photography and grew up in the digital age. This makes it all the more important for me to consider every little detail—from the curation of the works to the smell and feel of the paper. Another crucial point is that, unlike in the digital world, any errors can no longer be corrected. In my opinion, this is precisely where the special appeal lies.

Chapter  Since the consumption of images mostly takes place within a digital framework, do you think that illustrated books still have the power to give the works depicted a greater appreciation?

Robert Rieger  Illustrated books are being appreciated more than ever because we look at so many photographs on displays, reception on paper is a completely different experience. It was important for me to develop a beautiful cover with the designer Maximilian Mauracher so that the book could be staged in rooms as an aesthetic object.

Façades of Brooklyn Heights by Robert Rieger, Hardcover, published by POOL Publishing