Interview: Malte Brandenburg

Malte Brandenburg
Name: Malte Brandenburg

Where do you live: Copenhagen, Denmark

Known for:
My interest in architecture and photography

Currently working on:
Another edition of post-war architecture images from Berlin, as well as a new architecture project here in Copenhagen.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
I think two or three years ago it really started to dawn on me that I want to focus on architecture and how it is linked to urban life and society as such. I see urban life everyday and can witness the changes that occur in our society during the years. So it’s all right in front of me. I believe that urban life and architecture are something very important for us as human beings, something that defines us.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I think that would be my hometown Berlin. I have family and friends there and it’s a place with a lot of history for me.

How would you describe your creativity?
I don’t really think of myself as an actual creative person to be honest. I would rather describe me as a very analytical person. So my “creativity” is very analytical as well. I like to study objects and the state of things and use my observations in visual projects.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Basically right from the start because when doing these projects I don’t want to waste my time by doing things only halfway. So only when I’m convinced that I can reach a certain level of quality in my project I will actually start doing it.

What do you do at the moment?
At the moment I am preparing two upcoming exhibitions in Copenhagen. I really like to see my images hanging on a wall and people to look at it and sometimes even debate your images. It’s a lot of work, but I am happy about the experience as it’s a nice break from my normal work as a photographer.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
I think the main misconception is that you do a lot of shooting and working on your projects. But my impression is that you spend most of your time on talking to clients, service providers, on networking and on preparing stuff. Actually photographing, i.e. producing images for your projects is a much lesser part of your normal work than you might expect.

Tell us how it all started.
It must have been about five years ago. I used to take photos in order to preserve memories, e.g. when on holidays.

But after a while I became interested in using the camera for other subjects and in a more artistic way. I really appreciate the camera as a medium to visually combine both documentation and art. And since then I just kept on working in the same direction and try to develop my visual language further and further.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
That would be space and (natural) light, when I have to sit in front of a screen. But I enjoy the most to be outside exploring cities.

What is your favorite film?
Out of the movies I have seen lately I really liked Mad Max Fury Road. A simple story, but visually and sound-wise a very strking movie!

A very close second place would be Interstellar, again a great combination of awesome images and amazing sound.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
My friends from my art collective Copenhagen Format, we meet on a regular basis, but rarely for dinner. I would love to chat about all sorts of things over a glass of wine.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
By having a nice day with my wife and son, combined with good food and a salty breeze!

What is luxury for you?
Time.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
That was actually my sister very recently. She said that the images from my “Stacked” series reminded her of home, though she never lived in one of these buildings.

What do you fear most?
I don’t fear anything in particular.

What is a happy life to you?
Being able to do the things I do and spending time with my family.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Get up early, quick breakfast, drop off my son in kindergarten and then lots of work: research, planning, preparing stuff. Correspondence with clients or people I want to work with. My day usually ends at 18:00 where I have dinner with my family. Around 20:00 I normally call it a day, but sometimes I would still do some work in the evening.

Tell us about your dream project.
I would like to travel to North Korea and photograph its architecture.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
I don’t really follow other photographers work for my inspiration, but if I had to name a few I would say Andreas Gursky, Gregory Crewdson and also Bernd & Hilla Becher.

I like them not necessarily because of their images (I think they are great – just for the record), but rather how they use imagery to play with our minds.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
I typically consider my work as minimalism and as a form of (visual) study.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
There are several things I cannot live without, but coffee is probably very high up on that list!

What inspires you?
Basically it’s the environment I live in. However, lately I get increasingly inspired by pictures or stories from other parts of the world. In recent years the information flow from distant places has improved significantly, so that places I never visited suddenly are accessible for me. I think it puts things in perspective when I compare my life with these distant places and it gives a whole new view on how I live in my particular environment.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
I was reading a lot until I started at the university, so I had many books that made a great impression on me. But one of the recent ones was “Rules of Summer” bu Shaun Tan. It’s an incredible graphic novel that really gets into your head.

Connect with Malte via Facebook & follow him on Instagram
Check out his work at Behance 
Visit his awesome Website

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