Journey of discovery

It is a positive change of air that leads to a change of perspective.

12.01.2021

Interview with Christoph Westermeier

You are very present and active on social media: What would you never reveal about yourself? 

On my StudiVZ profile, my political positioning in 2006 was “loyal to the crown,” my hobbies “smoking and drinking,” and my personal role model “David Hasselhoff.” Over a decade later, StudiVZ is history and our relation to social media has fundamentally changed. We can no longer approach them ironically/naively as they have become global conglomerates. Today, social media is a global advertising platform that determine our daily routine via algorithms. Still, they are quite great for keeping in touch with cats, colleagues and co. Instagram gives me incredible joy, I research via the “#” function and try to create discourse with and through images.

But you will still never get the unfiltered Christoph W., because social media itself is a big filter and only works ina certain context: There is the haptic context of the smartphone and there are the digital contexts of the algorithms.

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021, photo: Carl Brunn

What do you take with you when you travel?

I always take way too many analog books with me. I don’t want to buy an e-book because I already spend enough time staring at a screen thanks to social media, so I always pack a somewhat excessive amount of fiction and theory. Much of this luggage never gets picked up and is just waiting to go on the next trip unread. 

What does travel mean to you?

In the script for the work Die Hohepriesterin im Gelmeroda Hochgebirge, which was created on the occasion of the Provenance Research Day 2020, I wrote a paragraph about traveling, which now appears for Bon Voyage! with copy-paste at this point: “The journeys of artists are journeys for artistic perfection, they serve new impressions, inspirations and thoughts. It is a lasting travel that still engages us hundreds of years later. It is a positive change of air that leads to a change of perspective. I myself follow this tradition, but since I cannot paint or draw, I work with the camera. I see situations, perceive, capture impressions.“

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

How many stamps are in your passport? Can you send us a photo?

I counted 34 stamps in my last passport, which expired on 01.04.2020. I haven’t applied for a new one yet and I am curious when I will do so. Within Europe you can travel quite wonderfully by train just with an ID card. In addition, our understanding of travel is currently being renegotiated. 

Biography

  • * 1984 in Cologne
  • studies: 2004–2010 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 2011–2013 de Ateliers Amsterdam
  • Master student of Christopher Williams 2009
  • Residencies in Moscow (2016) and Istanbul (2014)