When Sandrine Iratçabal leaves for work, she always has her pink camera with her. The camera is actually a child’s toy that prints small images in black and white within a few seconds. “Of course I could also do it with my cell phone. But I don’t want to be able to edit the photos in the first place,” she says. Iratçabal is an architectural photographer and the children’s camera is something like her architectural notebook. The French artist uses it to collect interesting perspectives and motifs, only to return later with a professional camera.
Since the turn of the year, Iratçabal has also been touring Munich with her cameras. As a scholarship holder of the “Artist in Residence” program, with which the city temporarily invites foreign artists to Munich, she is presenting the results of her three-month creative project “et ainsi de suite” in the Ebenböckhaus at the weekend.
Iratçabal started with three friends: she asked each of them about three places where they saw potential for a better future and asked them to justify their choice. Iratçabal then visited the places and photographed them. Each of the interviewees then named three other people to whom she asked the same question – and so on, or as the French say: “et ainsi de suite”.
Thinking about renewable energies in front of the closed door of the Dantebad
Iratçabal has now spoken to more than 60 Munich residents. It took many of them a long time to reply, says Iratçabal. A favorite place is found quickly, but a place that has the potential for a better future causes more headaches: “Most places are not beautiful in the sense of classic architectural photography. But they are beautiful in their meaning.”
The artist found herself at an underground construction site because the excavation pit prompted one of the participants to think about sustainable perspectives for the construction industry. Another participant sent Iratçabal in front of the closed doors of the Neuhauser Dantebad, which had to close its winter operations due to rising energy costs. Iratçabal explains that this once again showed the disappointed swimmer how important renewable energies could become for everyday city life. Of course, that’s not groundbreaking: “But it’s less about new information than about what you feel about it and the impulse to actively think about the future.”
The art historian and architect knows from her own experience what consequences pondering about the future can have. Today she works as a freelance artist and architectural photographer, but until recently she managed a company for museography and exhibition planning. Iratçabal worked a lot and in the long run more than was good for her. When she was in the hospital for three months for a heart operation, she had time to rethink her lifestyle, says Iratçabal: “I asked myself: do I want that for my future?”
She finds her own happiness in places of art
She is happy to pass this question on today. She now presents some of the answers she received in Munich with “et ainsi de suite”. The photo exhibition, in which some of her sketch photos will also be on display, is above all an interim conclusion. Iratçabal only wants to exhibit after she has repeated the interactive city portrait in her hometown of Bordeaux. She would then like to present the future visions of both cities together in Munich. And from which places does the artist herself expect a better future?
A difficult question, says Iratçabal and laughs. In any case, her own happiness will continue to lie in places of art in the future: “Museums like the Pinakothek are and will remain my medicine. That’s where I feel the beauty of art and I’m happy.”
“et ainsi de suite”, Fri., March 24, 7 p.m., Sat., March 25 and Sun., March 26 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ebenböckhaus, Ebenböckstr. 11, free entry