Conscientious Interviews

Talking of Jörg Colberg – as I was in my previous post on David Spero one of the best things about his Conscientious blog are the interviews with photographers.

I have an ambivalence about interviews, and I don’t think I’m very good at conducting them myself. It is too easy to be distracted by the personality of the photographer (and amusing incident) rather than really use them to gain a greater insight into the work. It is really difficult to engage with the person and at the same time to retain a kind of critical distance that enables you to view their work with real insight.

Although I’m a great believer in the ‘first hand’, interviews I find most useful at a second-hand distance, where you can assess question and response at leisure.

Fortunately the two photographers who Colberg had a ‘conversation’ with recently both talk interestingly about their work – and also their work is very much worth talking about. I think you will find his conversations with both Bert Teunissen and Miguel Rio Branco of interest. In the past I’ve written about both these photographers, but neither articles are currently available.

You can of course see more of Rio Branco’s work on the Magnum site (and the interview is also on the Magnum blog), and Teunissen has a good web site and you can also read his travel diaries.

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