SEEK is progressive. SEEK is contemporary fashion. SEEK is a fan of cool people. In this new series of interviews we want to set the stage for the makers behind and at the forefront of the show: Meet the SEEKers. With: Johannes Böttge!
Berlin-based photographer Johannes Böttge is responsible for the SEEK DESTINATION campaign. The campaign shows the typical subjects of tourists’ photos, including the Brandenburg Gate or Berlin’s Victory Column, but interpreted ironically. In his works Böttge addresses social and cultural topics and takes gleeful inspiration from the whimsical and strange. Born in Leipzig, today the artist feels at home on the hardcore punk scene. He is a vocalist in the band Coldburn.
For the DESTINATION campaign you made frequent use of Berlin’s landmarks. Which place in Berlin do you think is most worth seeing?
Maybe Siemensstadt; maybe the Hansaviertel quarter; or maybe the Aunt Benny.
Which cliché or preconception about Berlin is true and which isn’t?
Let me modulate the question a little: which preconceptions should Berlin/the people of Berlin “urgently” get away from? “Zugezogene” [‘newcomers’], “tourists”, and “hipsters”. I am incredibly bored by the xenophobic platitudes of those who have nothing better to do. Educate yourself.
How do you achieve this? How do you stay inspired?
1. I am heavily involved in the hardcore punk scene, which is still one of my main sources of inspiration due to the very different individuals in this community.
2. I read, and, in the context of photography, film and visual arts in general, I grapple with a broad range of different theoretical concepts. This influences me a lot on an aesthetic and conceptional level.
3. I constantly try to engage with “foreign” perspectives – e.g. female, younger and territorially influenced.
4. Iced coffee.
What hangs above your sofa?
I don’t have a sofa. Above an upholstered chair I have an illustration by the Berlin illustrator Markus Gruber.
Three things that go everywhere with you?
Headphones, phone, notebook.
If there were a soundtrack to the current SEEK campaign what would it be?
Primal Scream – Movin’ on Up.
Name: Johannes Böttge
Place of birth: Leipzig
Place of residence: Berlin
Passion: Hardcore & punk
Background: MA in Musicology (2015), MA in Art/Visual Media (ongoing)
Current project: Native Teenage
find out more about Seek at www.seekexhibitions.com