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Henner Flohr
Münster (DE)
When you attend a gig in Münster, you will surely spot Henner Flohr. In front of the stage behind his lenses he snaps photographs of the bands who play his city no matter if it is chord slashing punkrockers at Baracke to the collegiate indie hipsters at Gleis 22. Involuntarily but rightfully, he has become the premier chronicler of the ever expanding music scene in Münster without despising a high standard in aesthetics.

What's your aim when taking photos?

Basically just to capture the atmosphere of a certain moment. That sounds cheesy, but I really don’t worry too much about documenting a whole concert or something like that. I want to take one or two pictures that put a certain moment/evening/concert in a nutshell. That’s why I usually only choose very few photos from each show that I keep. Nowadays there are so many people with cameras everywhere that I believe it’s almost more important to be able to identify and choose special pictures than to actually take good ones. With a digital camera it’s not too hard to shoot fairly decent photos and I’m always annoyed if I have to look through 20+ photos from a certain concert on some webpage. So I guess taking pictures that are somehow different from all the myspace-photographers-stuff is my aim.

What is different for you when using your Holga?

Besides taking pictures with my SLR-Camera where I have to worry about the right exposue times and everything, I sometimes just like to play around with toy-cameras. And my all-time-favorite is my Holga 120S camera, which uses medium format films - I just love the analog appeal of it. With this camera I think the important part is not really the single picture, but more the combination of photos in groups. In my opinion that is what actually makes them interesting. And for an online-presentation, I thought pairs of photos would work nicely. I guess that's all there is to it.

How do you combine your preferences in aesthetics with your job at Münstersche Zeitung?

That has turned out to be easier than I initially thought. Since I only work as a photographer and writer for their "arts and music"-section I only cover concerts and other art-related things for them. In many cases these are events that I would go to even if I was not working for the newspaper. Most times they also do a pretty good job in placing my pictures in the paper and, well, getting paid for something I do anyways is nice. Besides, I also get to take photos at concerts that I would usually never go to, which can be quite interesting.

Do you see yourself as a chronicler?

I never thought about that. I mean I have been doing this for a few years now and I was able to take photos at many shows in Münster – but like I said in the first question, I don’t really care about the documenting aspect too much. I realize, of course, that my photos are to some extend documenting a certain part of the music scene, but I’m afraid my pictures are way too subjective to be seen as a good documentation. Most times I don’t even bother to take photos of more than 1 or 2 band members.

You always promoted the slogan that photography is art for lazy people - so how do you refer to this characterization?

It’s funny that you mention that. Obviously it was meant to be more of a little joke than anything else. I just wanted some text for my e-mail signature, I guess. That was at a time, however, when I was a bit frustrated with my art history-studies and that quotation seemed to fit well. I was just annoyed with the amount of work that I had to put into gaining the background-knowledge to be even able to analyze artworks. At the time it felt as if that sucked the fun out of even looking at art. In contrast, I always thought of photography as something that I do and look at for fun. Many photos can be éread’ pretty easily at first sight without the need for background-knowledge of art historical references and stuff like that. There are, of course, photographers like Jeff Wall where this is not true at all, but to me it seemed as if photography allowed the audience to be somewhat lazy – which is an interesting quality.

Henner Flohr
Henner Flohr

Münster (DE)

Contemporary art, music, photography

Francis Wolff, Glen E. Friedman, Albrecht Fuchs, Jeremy Michael Weiss ...

Canon, Holga 120 S