Salt Lake Maximilian Mann Ultrashop

More about Maximilian Mann

How did you choose your means of expression?

Photography is a very good way for me to meet people and learn from them. Not from a desk, but in real life. I can meet people I would never have met without photography. This has led to an incredible number of great encounters.

How does a work session take shape?

To begin with there is a lot of research. The part involving photography follows. For the work “Fading Flamingos” I went to Iran three times, about 8 weeks in total. Editing and sequencing is also an important part of the work.

Can you explain to me how your work has evolved since starting out?

In the beginning my visual strategy evolved quite naturally. I didn’t think too much about it at first and just started. Over time, I found a visual approach. I still remember the first time I went to the lake. Actually, it was deserted. Completely quiet with no birds or cars. I wanted to convey this silence in the pictures.


Do your origins and culture play a role in the works that you produce?

Of course. I am visually and mentally influenced by my fellow human beings. There is no doubt, even the choice of topics has something to do with experience and education. We are all very much influenced by our environment.

Which events have influenced you most?

I think it is a combination of many events. Photography festivals like Rencontres d’Arles are important to me, but also workshops at universities or just discussions about photo projects, whether in book form or simply online.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Of course, my collective – DOCKS Collective. We work very closely together and support each other in all matters. This creates a lot of trust and inspiration.

Are there any anecdotes that enable the genesis of your work to be understood?

I think the environment is the main topic for my generation. That’s why it was important for me to do a project that deals with an environmental disaster. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about the issues at Lake Urmia. I wanted to know more about it and in September 2018 I travelled to the lake for the first time.


Are your works more of a dialogue, a trace or a denunciation?

I always try to talk with the protagonists. I think trust and honesty are extremely important.
With my work I do not want to present a finished opinion to the audience, but rather ask questions.

Do you wish to make viewers wonder or do you prefer to question them?

I want to make the viewer wonder. I don’t want to just give simple answers. I want the images to weave themselves into a complex series. It would be best if the audience is more interested in the topic after looking at the pictures.

How would you compare your last work with the next?

Thematically, I would definitely like to continue working on aspects of the climate crisis.


What are your current and future projects?

After my work about Lake Urmia in Iran, I started working on the yurt districts around Ulan Batar in Mongolia. Here, too, the environmental problem and climate crisis are closely linked to the topic. But Corona stopped everything for me. For photographers this is of course a difficult situation. As soon as it is possible to travel again, I will continue with the new project in Mongolia.

Do you have anything else to add? I’ll let you have the last word…

Thank you for the interview and the interest in my work.