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Lukas Korschan Examines the Quietly Absurd

09/03/14

Just 25 years old, photographer Lukas Korschan floats between London, Frankfurt, and Berlin, capturing the subtle minutia of the everyday in each respective city. They are urban moments—tiny forgotten fragments, small pieces of a puzzle alluding to a much greater whole. From walls cracking into disrepair to napping strangers, Korschan’s images are at the intersection between humor and severity. It’s a celebration of the quietly absurd that make his images that relatable, a sense that, no matter where in the world the image was taken, you’ve been there before, in whatever capacity that may be.

Lukas took some time to talk about keeping inspired in the digital age, his creative portraiture project Mondo Mondo, and his delayed start to a creative career.

ISAORA: Between London, Berlin, and Frankfort, do you prefer one place to another?

Lukas Korschan: All of these cities are unique for what they are. Frankfurt is my hometown and for that reason I share special memories with the city and its suburbs. It’s an interesting place that offers a weird clash between very rough corners on the one hand and super posh areas on the other. Berlin is that creative melting pot, which I love for its attitude and minimalism. London is simply the most diverse and international city I’ve ever been to—it’s an amazing place where you meet people from every corner of the world.

ISA: When was the first time you picked up a camera?

LK: To be honest, I was not at all an artistic person when I grew up – sport was the only thing I was interested in. Not until I was 20-ish and started writing for the great German contemporary art blog iGNANT in my spare time, I developed an interest in photography and arts in general. Probably a year later I bought my first camera and started experimenting with it.

ISA: Did you have photographers whose work you admired as a kid?

LK: Of course I look up to the first generation of German photography pop stars like Jürgen Teller or Wolfgang Tillmans, but definitely admire young talents like Osma Harvilahti, Philip Cheung or Clarissa Bonet as well – just to name a few. More importantly though, a lot of friends and their work inspire me on a daily basis, since the Internet made it so easy to follow each other and keep in touch, no matter if you are in London, New York, Berlin or some village in Eritrea. It’s just amazing!

ISA: What are you trying to convey in your images?

LK: I don’t know really. If I see something that appeals to me I try to capture it – no matter if it is a certain mood, interplay of textures, colours or whatever. It’s just a visceral process. I really like a bit of subtle humor in pictures though.

ISA: What are you currently obsessed with?

LK: As the new football season just kicked of in Germany and England, I definitely spend too much time keeping track of what’s going on. I am really obsessed with football.

ISA: What was the genesis of Mondo Mondo?

LK: As I grew up with people from all around the world, who immigrated to Germany, I always heard the unbelievable stories of their journeys. In the media you always read about war and immigration, but often people don’t see human beings and personal stories behind it. Instead they go to the movies, watch TV or do whatever to simply be entertained. My aim was to tell real stories of people living next to you and raise awareness for that issue. It would be amazing if someone who read Mondo Mondo feels inspired to knock on the door of her neighbour from Turkey, Afghanistan, Ghana or wherever one day and just share experiences. It’s a great thought to me.

ISA: Do you think sometimes images are not personal enough? What's appealing about getting in there and really getting involved with a subject?

LK: It’s amazing if a photographer is able to capture an intimate atmosphere or the mood of a mundane situation in a picture. Nevertheless, I think distance can create a nice mood as well though. To me, both approaches can be appealing.

ISA: Anything or anyone you've been wanting to shoot but haven't yet?

LK: Yasiin Bey. I really want to shoot him soon!

 

Photos courtesy of Lukas Korschan