Felicitas Jander

würzburg, germany


INTERVIEW by Kim Kleinert

Hi Felicitas, thank you for taking time today! The topic of our 2nd issue is "the last blue one".  This refers to the last tram that ran in Vienna at night according to the timetable. Which person are you? Running to the train, or are you trying to drift?

Since I always run to trains anyway, I think I would have tried it and if not just watched from there. If I go back to the party or if I just let the night go on.

You work on a lot of projects at the same time. You make films, have your own store, do commissioned work and your own photographic projects. Where does your energy come from? Where do you get your inspiration from?

It is extremely different. Before I went on vacation I realized that my energy was actually completely gone. We had a lot of events in the yard and in the store and in the end I felt that I was really just empty. To get away completely by going somewhere else or for example to work alone at night, to dive into it gives me energy. Sometimes I have these moments where everything flows. They are always like these thrusts.

You started studying in Würzburg, but broke off again relatively quickly?

Yes, I went to the art FOS for three weeks. But I only do photography autodidactically.

How does that work for you? Do you do it by feeling? Do you learn from other people? And do we need schools at all?

I think there are two types of people. Those who first need basic technical knowledge in order to gain security for themselves. For me it's just trying out and changing. I started extremely early. When I was seven I was allowed to act in short films for the FH and then I realized how incredibly fascinating the world behind the camera is to me. How much I can create by myself. Then I just started and made, the technique comes with time. School is generally a very difficult subject for me. I find these clear structures in general and especially in art very difficult to implement. My mom is self-taught in painting and has created so much art all her life that I was born into it. And my dad was a teacher, through these contrasts I could already see exactly where I fit in and where not.

You originally come from Ansbach and recently moved to Würzburg, which is rather untypical. What attracted you there? What do you like about the city?

The first reason was that I wanted to go to the art FOS there. I just turned 18 and thought it would be cool because it's a bit away from home but not too far. With time I realized that I'm not a person for such big cities. But still a lot of art on offer. I think it is really nice to get to know something really close. I think it's a shame that all people who want to make art or want to realize their dreams always go to cities like Berlin, because that's where the art takes place. And because of that they leave their hometown, which actually needs art. That's why I love to make offers and art in smaller cities.

You make your own photographic and commissioned works. Is photography for you more art or commercial?

Definitely art. What I find nice is that often people come to me who actually need commercial photos, but who also have something artistic. Actually the pictures on my website are a bit outdated. Meanwhile I try to bring the art into the commercial and that the people who message me want more than a nice, smiling family picture.

How do you manage the balancing act between fulfilling the wishes of your customers and your own artistic interpretation?

Most customers have so far given me a lot of freedom. A few wishes flow in from the customer, the rest is purely intuitive for me.

What attracts you to photography? What do you try to represent and express with your work?

I have the feeling that a lot of fantastic things are happening in front of my inner eye. I try to show people the world as I see it. Who I myself love it as I see it.  And I notice how many people see the world more simply, more structured and also more boring, I try to show them, for example how I see this boring house, that you can do even more with it.

Most of your photographs seem at first sight to be very harmonious in their composition, have something playful, light. Should photography first and foremost be beautiful?

No, not at all. I have gone through many phases, for a while I photographed a lot of dark, mystical things. What I would like to do much more is political photography. Environmental politics and the suffering that I see, that there is more photographic representation. But of course I don't see so much suffering in my surroundings in Würzburg.

What do you think the depiction of suffering can achieve?

Open your eyes. To bring what I see closer to other people, precisely because I am not a famous photographer. That as a normal person I also see the dead whale on the beach because we produce too much plastic. To show that this is not just a fantasy that the media plays to you, but that it is simply really there.

I often have the feeling that we already see a lot of suffering in the media. Do you think that people are blunted by that? Do we become resistant to it?

In a certain way yes. I think it's different with everyone, how close they let it get to them. Many of these scenes of violence come to a point when you watch the news or read the newspaper. I have the feeling that a lot of people avoid this and go to Instagram, where there is much less coverage. But when I take very diverse photographs, it mixes more into everyday life and reaches not only the people who are watching the news. I think it would be nice if such topics are more popular with everyone and not only with those who are already interested in them. I have the feeling that many people consciously don't watch such things because they have a nice life, because their house is not burning.

We already come to my last question. You have already realized many of your projects and plans and you are quite young, where do you still aspire to? What is your next goal?

At the moment I'm definitely in the process of releasing my feature film, we are just finishing the last steps and writing the music for it. And then some short films that I wrote ages ago but I want to finish each project bit by bit. I don't want to continue the store forever, but maybe move again, go into a craft training, in which I could also include art, but I don't have to. In fact, my life's desire when I have children is to start a farm, to live a self-sufficient life, where everyone who makes something or has learned something can come and stay with us. For me it is a wonderful idea that life, even with children, after one's own youth, will not be boring.

That sounds super nice, I hope that it will work!