Zara Pfeifer captures the beauty in subtlety. Whether it be a dappled shard of light falling through a window or the idiosyncrasies of a friend, she observes the ephemeral moments with an eye to detail. Hailing from Cologne, Zara, an architecture student and photographer, spends much of her time between Berlin and Vienna. Zara creates photographs that are undercut with this constant flux, movement and juxtaposition between urban and country environments, that result in works that express her fascination with space and composition. I love the soft hues of the resulting images, as well as the way in which Zara cleverly mediates between the spontaneous, intimate and unfamiliar creating work that is simultaneously honest, intriguing and alluring.
Zara kindly answered several questions that really gauge an insight into her creative process and inspirations ~
Where did your love of photography originate?
My interest developed over the past years, when I discovered photography as an inner need and tool to handle my emotions in everyday life. An important incident was when my father gave me his old analogue Minolta on our trip through Morocco for Christmas 2010.
What is it about a person or object that catches your eye and stirs you to take a photograph?
When I am curious about a person, I like watching their gestures, how they move and talk, proud moments or little insecurities. I love when I get an insight from somebody that is real and honest. In urban context, I am interested how people adapt to their living spaces and in the gap between planned and used architecture. Sometimes it is just a form that I am attracted to, from its pure aesthetics, colors or interesting context.
What are you inspired by, with and without camera in hand?
I am inspired by unfamiliarity and when I am in movement. I am deeply inspired by good talks with my friends, by interesting personalities, unusual approaches to life and how people handle their lives and feelings.
Is there any particular place or person you would love to photograph?
My two uncles who live in the deep Austrian woods. They have built up a wonderful cottage and I admire how they live.
Are there any photographers, filmmakers or artists’ work that you particularly like?
Just to name a few, I like the art work of Tacita Dean, Anna Maria Maiolino, Gordon Matta-Clark, the architecture of Lacaton & Vassal, the photography of Viviane Sassen, Jürgen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, William Eggleston and of my dear friends Paul Pibernig, Linda Hemmersbach and Peter Jaunig.
Are you working on any projects currently?
I am working on my Master Thesis in Architecture, which is going to be a photographic profile on the Affordable Architecture in Berlin. Recently I started focusing on the intersection between architecture, photography and self-publishing.
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