Birgit Zartl, from Vienna, is an amazing photographer and painter, who specializes in polaroids and caffenol. We have a talk about her childhood fears and haunting monochromes.
Your pictures as well as your paintings have a haunting feeling to them. What was your biggest fear as a child?
My biggest fear as a child was probably fire. I wasn’t able to light a match until the age of 10. Also I was afraid of electicity, sockets, plugs and all the actions that are usually involved. Other fears included nightmares, spiders, talking in public, and an always present feeling of impending catastophies of any kind. I was a fearful child, although I didn’t talk about it much.
Do you think there is a sinister dark aspect to childhood that most adults tend to ignore?
I think adults are pretty aware of the cliché of the “cruelty” of children. but they tend not to take it seriously even though they should. Kids need guidance to be able to incorporate also their “dark” sides and to learn to control them.
I would say the sinister and dark aspect of children is grounded in their fears but also in their curiosity but even as adults we still carry it whithin us….more or less controlled.
You are a huge fan of black and white. How do you explain this?
Well, black and white / monochromaticity is something that helps me to concentrate solely on the image. I find colours distracting in my work. I do like colours in other peoples’ work though. But I don’t feel comfortable to use them in mine.