#ClaraTatjana : The Message (Berlin)
I'm always struggling with the word "stability" because it's a word than I can one day deeply desire and an other one totally reject as the murderer of my alleged freedom. So when I'm struggling with a word my first instinct is to open my dictionary. Here is the definition that my good old friend's is gently giving it to me :
"State of a construction capable of remaining in permanent equilibrium."
Ok, first of all it's a "state" so a way to being that result of a construction, a progression and an evolution, something that you reach at some point and can be declared as such. That's more the second part of the definition who intrigues me. Being capable of remaining in permanent equilibrium look more like something an atom can reach, not a human living in a society.
On this way, stability look pretty boring, but imagine a night ride that remains stable or a romance without any evolutions, adventures or new situation. You can also a imagine a relationship with the loved one that will strictly follow a dedicated patch, smooth and flat. Which poet will be inspired by this story ?
But let's remain relative, because stability is also relative. Stability define an equilibrium so a constant exchange between 2 weights. If you take your heart beating measure on an electrocardiogram, you will see him beating from top to bottom and if we have to follow our heart, life is pretty much working like this.
Sometimes everything is doing great, you're at the top of your life and from nowhere you're feeling down, at the bottom of the beats of your heart, at a low happiness frequency. The point of it is that you can find inspiration in both states and finding your own stability on this way : Constantly shared between the beats of your heart.
What's wrong with it ? Acceptation is maybe the first step to find your state of equilibrium and Clara during herr night session is here to make us remember this. Life is like a party, going through different emotions, different speed and different feelings that's create this relative stability that I was scared off at the beginning of this introduction.
Find your tempo and you heart will follow.
But today, dears brothers and sisters, we are following the tempo of Clarra shooting the nightlife scene of the Herrensauna, Mala Junta and many others parties with passion and ambition. Are there any stability in her works ? Let's agree on not but who fucking care ? He is just following the natural way of what living free means, accepting and playing with the beating of the Berlin's youth hearts.
Clara Tatjana for Radio Loubard
Hi Clara, Such a pleasure to host you on Radio Loubard ! How are you doing ? I’ve seen that you were traveling a bit, no ?
Hi Cesar, pleasure is mine! Doing well, I just got back from a trip in Prague.
Could you please introduce yourself to our dear readers of the day ?
I´m Clara, originally from Vienna, half Spanish and based in Berlin. I´m a photographer, specialized in analogue photography, known for my nightlife documentation and DJ press photos.
So let’s talk about your photography journey, when did you start to arm yourself with your camera ?
At age seventeen I got my dad's minolta reflex camera and some films. That summer I started to take photos while visiting my family in spain. Mostly of the landscape and interesting corners and shapes I was surrounded by. Not long after that I started to explore different cameras, and especially the point and shoot would become my companion at all times. I started to document my friends, nightlife and the scene in Vienna and later Berlin.
I never stopped doing so until this very day.
You told me that analog photos were coming from the heart… Could you explain the relationship that you have with it ?
It's this kind of passion that you cannot not do (if that makes sense) this unexplainable drive and love for something. There were moments in my life I asked myself what am I really doing this for? It's quite an expensive hobby which takes preparation and time before and after every documented event. Now that passion became my job and was even more worth doing all these years.
You’ve said that digital was too predictable for you. What do you mean by that ?
I think the magic of analogue photography really is that you never fully know the outcome. Not being able to see direct results and having the possibility to correct anything in that moment makes you not only take photos through your eyes but with your guts. You know you have that one shot which leads me to be guided by emotions rather than technical perfection.
The “all digital” era that we are living in with the strong influence of social networks showing only perfect bodies and perfect landscapes are definitely shaping our conception of society as a fake utopia. Do you feel that your photos are taking the opposite way by just showing people with sincerity ?
Definitely. I love to show the raw and the pure moments. Catch people's personality more than the perfect picture. I love the “mistakes” that can happen when developing, they sometimes even add to the photo and make it somewhat more artistic.
How did you meet the Herrensauna and the Mala Junta crew ?
I met Nicolas and Cem in Vienna around twelve years ago. We became very close friends and I documented them way before Herrensauna. We all moved to Berlin at some point and I was there to take photos and work with them from the very beginning of the Party and before it got so big.
The mala crew I met some years ago but got closer with them more recently since D.Dan, one of their residents, is my partner and I started traveling with him and documenting that. So it just happened naturally that I would take photos for their party as well.
Most of your subjects are your friends or your social circle. What does spending times with your subjects can change the way you’re approaching photos?
Regarding the nightlife shots, it changes the way your own position is reflected by the people you photograph. You become part of the picture instead of a voyeuristic perspective.
When shooting with Djs it definitely helps to be part of the scene. Understanding and appreciating your subject's music enables me to capture their personality better.
Especially since most DJs aren't naturally comfortable in front of the camera, that sensitivity becomes part of your job too.
Are you only working with people you love ? Maybe you’re learning to love them during your shooting session…?
I happen to work with people that I respect and admire. It often leads to friendships, which is a big benefit in my job and life.
Most of your photos are focused on the nightlife culture in Berlin. Why did you make the choice of sharing your views on this theme ?
I started posting more nightlife shots during lockdown. These photos got a lot of attention and positive feedback which gave me the confidence to publish more of my archive.
Then I got to do my first magazine cover for Número followed by requests for Jobs etc. That's when my instagram became some sort of portfolio.
Do you feel that you’re documenting a youth, a generation or an era ?
For sure. Especially since the pandemic, the value of this kind of photography increased a lot, because we all got to feel how precious this kind of freedom and movement can be. The world and our society changes so fast, things will never be the same, which makes it so important to document the present.
Will you imagine yourself shooting in other spaces in music than the club scene ? Like a Jazz club maybe….?
I would love to document a jazz club! Always had a special connection to this kind of music since my dad was a jazz DJ when he was young.
I also got to work for fashion shoots, behind the scene documentary and performances.
You told me that there are so many different ways to live your identity. How do you live and consider yours in this society ?
I'm just very grateful to live my life as free and queer as I want and need to in Berlin. It is a very precious gift to be able to fully express myself in this environment and be surrounded by so many inspiring and creative souls. You never stop learning and evolving in this city.
When are you truly feeling happy when you’re shooting ?
It makes me happy when people feel comfortable around me and while I shoot. It's very empowering when I see my own reflection in the people when I develop the photos.
If they look happy and natural, it does the same to me.
Can you talk about your upcoming collaboration ?
My next collaboration will be with ID Magazine for UY Studio performance and for WHOLE festival event documentation.
How do you see yourself in 3 years ?
Honestly at that point I would love to live in a different city. As much as I love Berlin, I really want to try to live somewhere like New York in the next years. Hopefully as a successful photographer :)
Would you have 3 or 4 artists to make us discover ?
You will find a bunch of inspiring artists when going through my photos ;)
Besides that I really dig what Radiant Love collective is doing.