Interview on Dazed Digital
Inside Art: Joachim Schmid now on Dazed Digital
“At last, a retrospective for the German photographer whose career started as a freelance critic. In 1982, he found his first photograph that would begin a twenty-five year ongoing series called Bilder von der Straße (Pictures from the Street). Unfortunately it is not to be seen in its entirety (there are still 900 images), but there is a nice addition to the series, as the last image was found on the street outside The Photographers’ Gallery just days before the show opened. Collected in many cities from Berlin, Padua, Luxor to Edinburgh, these discarded ‘pictorial histories’ become an intriguing glimpse into the lives of strangers.
To accommodate his vast demand for images, in 1990 he set up The Institute for the Reprocessing of Used Photographs. People were asked to send in their unwanted photographs that have become an endless source for his work; there are unknown Brazilian faces in Belo Horizonte, Praça Rio Branco and morphed portraits from a Bavarian Studio Photographer in Photogenetic Drafts. But don’t confuse Schmid for an anthropologist or scientist as he vehemently wants nothing to do with such labels, he is merely someone who likes doing things! Be sure not to miss the sound photographs Tausend Himmel (Thousand Skies or Thousand Heavens), an extremely personal exploration also a move into the inevitable field of the digital era.”
Interview by Freire Barnes, filming and editing by Roland de Villiers, produced by Rod Stanley