Walter Mair


Where and when was this photo taken?

This is a shot of the stage of the Schauspielhaus Köln (theater), in Cologne, Germany

When was it shot?

In February 2013.

What were the conditions in the space?

Room temperature, heavy bright-dark contrasts from the fluorescent lamps, sound-check in the background, no smell, many people bustling around.

How did you get into the building?

It was through a commission by the Schauspielhaus Köln, Cologne, initiated by the director, Anna Viebrock.

Had you been there before?

Yes, I attended a series of rehearsals for this play to do the pictures for the programme and also for the press.

Why is this photograph so important for you?

The subject matter of the play and of the set design contemplates very much the work of the German artist Gregor Schneider and his “Haus u r” The set design and the decor is partly a reconstruction and recombination of some of the interiors by Gregor Schneider. There is also a very iconographic photograph by the artist with a sculpture of a dead body lying on the floor. The intention was to re-enact this tableau. “My” picture stands for now at the end of a long row of other images and ideas: Gregor Schneider’s initial thought and the actually built or transformed space and scenery, photographed and published by Schneider; seen by Anna Viebrock and again transformed and reproduced as the set for the Schauspielhaus Köln, with an actor playing the dead person. It seemed to me as if Sachiko turned the screw even more and did not only play a dead person but could transform herself to this very initial lifeless sculpture made only of shoes, some cloth, stockings, sponge and dust.

This is an excerpt of an interview which is part of the editorial project “1 Photo(grapher)” and originally published for Scopio Network.