Interview with Artist in Residence Stefanie Moshammer


Where About Now Where are you right now reading these questions?

Stefanie Moshammer: Sitting in my garden.

WAN Where would you like to be while reading these questions?

SM The same place as I am now.

WAN Where did you go on holiday as a child?

SM I started skiing when I was 3 years old and my parents organized many ski holidays in the mountains of Austria. In the summer time we travelled a lot to Turkey and Greece.

Stefanie Moshammer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stefanie Moshammer, Sahara, Morocco

WAN How do you define travel for yourself? Your photography is created both internationally and locally, at your grandparents’ in Upper Austria. When you look at it, one has the feeling that you are creating your own visual worlds and microcosms, for which you would not have to go geographically to another place.

SM Travelling to me means exploring a place away from your own comfort zone. This can be geographically far but it can also be very close. The travelling experience consists of multiple aspects in various combinations. These experiences are all just ideas in the mind, and there can be no absolute interpretation whether or not some of those represent or mirror an outside object. Each is creating its own microcosm. Though, none of the images would look like they do if I wouldn’t be at that certain place where I wanted to be. Through sharing images and words about a place, I hopefully bring people on a journey of their own, but we will never have the exact same ideas about it.

WAN What would you do instead of travelling?

SM Trying to read and see as much as possible about other places in books and films.
Asking other people, inventing without exploring, imagining. Perhaps, still a metaphorical way of traveling.

Stefanie Moshammer, Japan
Stefanie Moshammer, Las Vegas, USA

WAN How do your pictorial motifs and compositions build up? Do they differ according to destination?

SM On one hand, they differ according to each destination. On the other hand, they relate to each other and have similarities. Some motifs don’t show and tell a lot about their origins in the first place. They contain a spirit of it, through a certain shape, color or the undertone of a feeling. Mostly I don’t solely work with single images. I focus on the dialogue and the combination of images. In there, you have more flexibility with how to show a place.

WAN What do you take with you when you leave Austria and what do you bring with you when you return?

SM I leave with my notebook.
I return with a plant of each place. I mostly find them in the ‘wildness,’ which means I don’t exactly know which species they are sometimes.

Stefanie Moshammer, Kolkata, India

WAN Is it necessary to travel/change to a "different world" in order to take (right) photos?

SM To me - yes, it’s necessary. A ‘different world’ doesn’t necessarily need to be far, but certainly different from your own state of mind.

WAN What do you have planned as your next photo project and where will your next trip take you?

SM My next trip will take me to the underbelly of the U.S., crossing the country from the East to the West.


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