Bastienne Schmidt

Interview with the Artist

How do you approach your work with photography?
For me, photography was always an extension to document what was around me and to see the larger context in it. Usually my photographic projects take a long time—four to five years—and they culminate in a book. There is an emotionality and mystery in my photographs, where there is a layering of meanings. In my last series, Home Stills, I placed myself in the pictures, but it's not about me specifically—I become the stand-in for an everywomen, moving in and out of these different people's lives.

Saying you stand for an "everywomen" sounds like a feminist statement. Do you consider yourself a women's voice?
I do consider myself to have a feminist voice. I think we need more women in our society to speak up again. I don't think it's very fashionable anymore, because we are supposed to have resolved women's disadvantages in society. But if you look at the political dialogue right now there is always a women's theme popping up, and I am still shocked sometimes by the conservative interpretation of what a woman's life is supposed to be.