Over a cup of tea with Christine Erhard

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An informal Q & A

Which photographer or artist do you most admire?

There are many artists who are important for my work and without whom my own work would be inconceivable. Firstly the artists of the Italian Renaissance such as Piero della Francesca or Leon Battista Alberti and their invention of linear perspective.

Also very important to me are architects from the time of early modernism, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Hugo Häring.

I also see photographers from the time of constructivism including Alexander Rodchenko and Laslo Moholy-Nagy as fundamental. Among contemporary photographers I would particularly like to mention Hiroshi Sugimoto.

What artwork, where money is no object, would you like to hang on your wall?

The 2002 photograph "Barragan House" by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

What is the worst commission you have ever had?I don't work to commission. I decide what projects I want to do. Certain works may be particularly difficult to produce, and it is often a long and arduous working process. But this is still the only way that I can work.

Which famous artists, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Mostly I would like to speak to dead artists to be able to gather authentic information about their lives and about their reasons for making particular works.

When are you at your happiest?

When I can make my work without having to worry about material necessities.

What is your most treasured possession?

Material possessions aren't important to me. I possess certain things that I need for my work, for example a large format camera. I don't treasure these things however, I just need them to be able to function.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I'm reading "Florence and Baghdad - a west-eastern history the seeing" by Hans Belting. The book is about the invention of perspective in the renaissance and its invention in the Arab world in the 11th century. Instead of representing the world, Arab art followed another direction and made light and geometry its theme.

What made you laugh recently?

My small daughter.

What really winds you up?

I'm a relaxed person and don't get wound up easily.

What would your dream project be?

There are no projects which can't be realized. With my working methods it is possible for me to represent places where I have never been.

What do you do when not working?

I see my life as a unity. Working and not working flow into each other.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration comes from books and images. My view of reality has been informed by the media, so an unbiased view of my surroundings isn't possible.

How you would you like to be remembered?

I want to stay in people's memories through my images. Through a particular way of seeing which can inspire them to adopt new and unfamiliar perspectives and to view the world slightly askew.

What music would you like played at your funeral?

No music

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