- How do you use new media to explore the mind and identity of teenagers?
Mauren Brodbeck: I approach my work in a parallel way. There is the aesthetic side which is more materialistic – material of photography and where to push it. We are in an interesting time now because photography has always used new technologies and media, but now the public is also using digital media. The conceptual approach is all about the narrative, the research and really the entire project and its meaning. In my Erasure series, I use razor blades to somewhat destroy the image to then create from this ‘destructed’ piece. The symbolic gesture of destroying signifies duality between creation and destruction. Teenagers have to destroy part of themselves to become adults.
- Which technical process leads you to create a work of art?
I often decide what the scene is going to be, light it and then photograph the subject. My artwork is all based on reality, even the sounds. I have a process that is so established for me and works for me. I use this process as my foundation and then jump to other places with that. Having this base allows me to get out of my comfort zone and get innovative with my art.
- How has the Digital Era impacted your work?
Having studied in Pasadena, I was used to having labs in which I could experiment, quick turnover at print shops and five-floor camera shops in the city. This quickly changed when I moved back to Switzerland. Not only did I have my first child but I suddenly didn’t have access to everything that was being offered in Los Angeles. Chemicals quickly became a no-go for me as a mother and because I just wasn’t happy with the quality of what I was getting in Switzerland. That’s when I knew it was time to buy a digital back! I did just that and immediately started exploring what I could do digitally.
- What are the challenges that you face as an Artist?
A challenge I constantly face as an artist is being a woman AND a mother in the arts.
Women are under-represented in the art world, everywhere. I’ve heard absurd comments such as ‘’you will never be a good artist because you are a mother and cannot do both’’. I was always lucky to have my family’s support, but many of my friends stopped being artists because they got a family and assumed they didn’t have the time or support they needed to succeed. This pushed me to create a podcast, Raw and Radical Women in the Arts, where women can get inspired by each other and connect with the idea of what it means to be a woman, mother and artist at the same time. I believe we are lucky to have a voice and be able to communicate, that is why I also created my personal podcast: Private View Podcast.