We had a short talk with Michael Ackerman on the occasion of a workshop he gives in Athens with Stéphane Charpentier and Alyssa Moxley.

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Nowadays, building various photography projects based on specific subject matters or concepts is really popular. On the other hand, your work seems to be one life project as a whole in which pictures are interconnected in a deeper way. How do you handle such a difficult choice?

It’s not a choice. It’s how things turned out. When I was younger I did work on certain separate projects but for a long time now it has been, as you say, a life project. It takes different turns and different forms over the years, it evolves, but it’s all connected…. but I really would like to do some things that could be their own separate projects.

Apart from being a photographer, you have also been teaching and giving workshops for years. What makes you interested in the teaching procedure? Furthermore, why do you think that visual education is necessary?

First, it’s a job. I don’t get any commercial work. I’m almost never asked to take pictures or get paid for them. This is pretty much the only paid work I get. And teaching is not something that comes naturally to me, even if sometimes I am good at it. It’s a big effort for me to speak in front of people. I do try to understand every individual participant in a workshop and understand how I can help them and I feel very responsible for each of them. I wish to give them a feeling of greater possibility, freedom from external expectations, a feeling of optimism.

Michael Ackerman

Please allow me a question linked with a personal feeling of mine. Your pictures remind me of Béla Tarr’s movies. I feel that both works are made without judgment, in total acceptance of what they talk about. Would you find any kind of connection?

Thank you for the compliment. I have never seen a complete Béla Tarr film but I have seen some scenes and they are mind blowing. I would never compare myself to him and can’t tell you what the connection is – I think maybe you could do that.

You are in Athens invited by VOID to give a workshop. At the end of the workshop, an open presentation/performance is going to take place at the Institut Français d’Athènes. What are you going to present?

Come see.

Info:

Temps Zero & Void PRESENT IMAGE & SOUND PERFORMANCE | 08.06.2018

An intense Image & Sound Performance presented by 13 photographers and 4 sound artists after one creative week instructed by Michael Ackerman, Stéphane Charpentier, Alyssa Moxley. Void will produce a limited edition publication which will be presented during the performance night.

20:00 Performance from the Image & Sound workshop (50min)

22:00 Projections in the courtyard
– Film «Pieces of time that we taped on the hills» by Stéphane Charpentier & Alyssa Moxley (8min50)
– Film «Birds» by Michael Ackerman (5min)
– Photographic film «Watermark» by Michael Ackerman (11min)

This project is kindly supported by the French Institute of Athens and Paris.

Institut Français d’Athènes – Amphitheater «Theo Angelopoulos» – Sina 31

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