while in vienna, i had the pleasure of meeting amelie and helping her prepare an incredible multi-dish persian meal for a grateful group of friends. but her talents don't only reside in the kitchen. her photography work is tinged with nostalgia, longing, mystery and an exploration of the self and the search for it (itself!) and it's place. when i found out she was heading to new york to do some research for her thesis and needed a place to stay, i hooked her up with nico, who helped introduce her to the wild world of nyc. it was her first time in the city and definitely worthy of a pre-trip BIG THINGS AHEAD interview. amelie, i hope new york was everything you hoped and more! next time we'll see you in san francisco!
Name: Amelie Zadeh
Where are you right now? In particular:7.31, sitting in my bed, sipping coffee and counting flowers on my favorite duvet (from my grandma).
In general: somewhere in between. Yeah, let’s call it vacuum- no directions, no coordinates, but also no weight.
What do you do? Looking for something that captures me, a face, a smell, a certain sound, a word. Maybe that’s why I do pictures- having the possibility to save these very individual and intimate moments, when something moves you deeply- no matter if it’s positive or negative (haha, photographic metaphors droppin’ ;-))
Where are you going? Although I do like Vienna and it’s cosiness, it is time to get some new input. So I decided to go to NY for a couple of weeks- getting lost, being found, and probably tons of ideas.
What will you be doing when you get there? I am now finishing my thesis in film studies- I know if I don’t finish it this summer, I’ll never do it. I love avant garde-film. In NY is the biggest archive for that topic (anthology film archives)- and here we go! But aside from digging and writing like hell I’ll get my camera. And let me drift by the crazy rhythm of NY.
How did you decide to go in this direction? I’m always in between theory and practice- the constant questioning of what I am doing with my camera -and mostly important- with the people in front of it, is very essential. Photography in my opinion is the most ambiguous medium, pushing the boundaries of memory, past and presence within a single moment.
What led you to make this decision? I just don’t wanna stick to the very old-fashioned stupid distinction of theory or art practice. I think in images. And words. That’s why I do both, I guess it is as simple as that.
Do you have any expectations? Mhh. Getting to know interesting people, places, whatever. I guess I’m too excited to have any clue what’s gonna happening in the next few months...
Are you excited? Nervous? Terrified? Thrilled? Take all of them, shake them, put some whipped cream, a cherry and a mint leave on top- and voilá- that`s the current amelie-ny-mood-mode.
What are you looking forward to? No matter what will be happening, it is all worth an experience. There is nothing do be disappointed- even if things don’t work out that well- it is an experience, which takes me one step further. Not having the same perspective, but different and completely new point of views, that’s what I’m really looking forward to!!!
What are you scared of? Too much delicious food, and that I don’t wanna come back…
Did you ever think you’d be where you are now? No. thought I’d be a biologist. Watching flocks of birds. (ok, still love watching birds.)
Have you ever felt like this before? No, it’s like walking on thin ice…somehow…in summer.
What are you leaving behind? Summer-blues Vienna (which is always a visit worth by the way) and my dogs. Oh no, my dogs…
What will you miss? My people around me…and my dogs. And my flower duvet.
What did your friends say when you told them? High five. All of them.
ARE YOU READY? Please choose the right answer: Yes/no/maybe
I guess I even don’t have a pen to tick the right one ;-)