Seit sich unser gewohntes Leben in kollektiver Quarantäne befindet, läuft die Zeit, zumindest gefühlt, etwas langsamer. Nicht nur der Umgang mit ihr hat sich verändert, sondern auch das, was wir mit ihr machen. Wir haben mit dem in Dänemark geborenen und in Berlin lebenden Fotografen Sigurd Grünberger über Inspiration geboren aus Stillstand gesprochen und gefragt, ob Kunst die Macht besitzt gesellschaftliche Verunsicherung in Krisenzeiten zu zerstreuen?
Chapter Can you tell us a little bit about your project »A letter to a friend«, a series of images you worked on during the COVID-19 shutdown period?
Sigurd Grünberger The project was my creative outburst after some confusing weeks when everything shut down. However, in retrospect I wouldn’t label it as a lockdown project, since for me the emphasis was on trying to create something with the things at hand. So I’d rather characterize the project as an exploration of creativity when you have the time and space to do so.
Chapter Right. With more time on their hands people were able to turn inward and explore their imagination more freely. Has this time of crisis and isolation been an unusual source of creativity for you too?
Sigurd Grünberger Not so unusual. However, having the time to focus and to explore was really a luxury. I guess most people only very rarely experience what it actually means to spend days just in this very special mindset. Somehow, the pressure was also gone because there were no jobs to chase or meetings to do. So in that sense it was liberating in a way that without a doubt is very fruitful to creativity.
Chapter Why does art seem to become more central to our lives in times of uncertainty and serious social challenges?
Sigurd Grünberger I think it is basically a shift of awareness that is made possible because our everyday life changes. Maybe in uncertain times our need to escape and dream grows and art is very helpful in that sense.
Chapter On a more personal note, has seeing the world through a lens brought you sociological comfort at times?
Sigurd Grünberger I think it is comforting to be fully occupied by something — to be in a place where your mind somehow seems to be working on another level. For me, for many years, that was looking through the lens of a camera.
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