Interview: Michael Lamoller

1. Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

My name is Michel Lamoller, I live in Berlin. I have studied at the academy of fine arts. Since I am seventeen I deal with photos, but at some point got bored with having a simple print as the only result of my working process. So I started to play around.

2. Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

I am working on a portrait project at the moment for which I use black and white photo portraits to create threedimensional sculptures. For me working with these images is great, it is a way to travel back to my roots hanging around in the darkroom. I love the grain and the moody black-and-white atmosphere of the prints.

3. What kind of things do influence your work?

Regarding my actual work, I guess there is not much to answer from inside the arts.

I come a from the countryside, from the Black Forest, so I am pretty influenced by its hilly and mountainous landscape, the play of light and shadow, natural and artificial structures in all scales. In a way this what I do: I cut landscapes with hills and valleys into piles of photos, which sometimes become pretty deep.

4. How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

The technical way is this: I take a photo (or several photos) on a spot. Print it or them 15-25 times. Cut something away from each layer. Add a distance between the layers. Pile everything up. Go to the workshop and built a deep, wooden frame for it. All this takes several days for one work.

I keep my scraps, especially from the works with the images of cities. I might do something with them one day.

5. Which is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

In Prague last autumn and I stumbled by coincidence into an exhibition of Jiří Kolář, a czech collage artist who was active from the 1940ies on. Back then, he was really famous, had shows in New York and Paris and other places in the west, even in museums like the Guggenheim. He invented (correct me if I am wrong!) a whole lot of new techniques like the rollage, the chiasmage and (my favourite) the crumplage and name few. Today he seems to be forgotten, which is a shame. His works still look very fresh.

My advice? Let your hands think, they know better!

6. What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

My family supports me, they like the works. My father taught me the basics of photography in his darkroom in our basement.

My partner is an artist, too, she does fantastic drawings and paintings and is a great advisor for me.

When I don’t work I try to do some sports. It might sound strange, but cutting photos is really exhausting.

7. Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.

John Baldessari? He was the teacher of my teacher, the American artist Matt Mullican.

John: Can I take a photographic portrait of you and produce a piece with it?