Wolfgang Tillmans
[Photographer, b. 1968, Remscheid, Germany, lives in London.]

 I think it’s much more radical to see and show things as they look instead of making them somehow subversive through alienation or estrangement. 
 I am interested not in individual readings, but in constructing networks of images and meanings capable of reflecting the complexity of the subject. 
 The true authenticity of photographs for me is that they usually manipulate and lie about what is in front of the camera, but never lie about the intentions behind the camera. 
 Always take yourself seriously... it’s not the same as being pompous, or overly self-assured, but it is important to understand that the small little ideas that creep up in your mind, often contain the germ of a much larger project. All great art wasn’t born as great art. It first needed to be recognized by the artist him/herself. Through his or her belief in it, it became true. 
 My staged work looks so real that people actually take it for documentary. But, in fact, that is my intention, to disguise the manufacturedness of it. Half of my work, or probably more than that, is staged. 
 I got rid of everything that’s artistic in portraiture: interesting lighting, recognizably “special” techniques, and all the different styles that divide us from the subject and are usually considered to be enhancements of the subject or the picture. 
 My work is aimed at creating a world in which I wish to live. Consequently, it is about creating ideals with the aid of realistic techniques. My most fundamental motivation is a desire for unity, fusion and sense of community. 
 It would be so easy to lose the plot now. It’s not about achieving something for its own sake, and taking pictures for their own sake. But to make conscious decisions and choices, and it includes this constant questioning—“Why am I taking pictures?” Because really, the world is... it has pictures enough. I mean, there are enough pictures out there. 
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