What were you expecting from the portfolio review?
I wanted to present my work – with such a large number of eminent reviewers I was, of course, excited to see what feedback I would get. I wanted to meet people, make new contacts. And, of course, I also wanted to experience Hamburg again. Looking back I can say that all my expectations were fulfilled. That’s a nice feeling.
Which of your pictures did you present – and which did you not show?
I presented a selection of the prints from my Maidan exhibition at my college this summer. In the winter/spring of 2014 I spent time at the Maidan in Kiev, Ukraine.
What I didn't show? Feels like tonnes of projects and ideas. Long-term projects, things that are still in development. I also showed a digital preview, a small cross section. I feel that criticism is important even during the creative process.
What was the silliest bit of advice you ever heard?
I don’t think any bits of advice are really silly. They’re all good and I pay attention to them. But I can remember some suggestions I really hated: reduce, Eugen, reduce! Boy did I find that difficult!
For weeks I’d spent every day at the Maidan, frozen through with the constant smell of burning tires in my nose. I risked life and limb. I photographed bodies burnt beyond recognition. And then I was told to reduce! And the full impact of my concept was built around having a certain number of pictures. You are also under pressure, or you feel a responsibility because of everything that's going on there, to reveal the whole iceberg. I had to learn to deal with it, to find the right form for it. I had to develop the concept for my exhibition and tighten up my capacity to take decisions.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to manage to get everything under one umbrella: to grow without the need for my studies, my projects, my time management and my hobbies declaring war with each other.
I want to spend this summer in Lugansk, to focus on the consequences of the war. I’m considering spending next semester in St. Petersburg, to get my BA in a year. There are still so many things to try out. My path is surely already laid out, but where exactly my journey is taking me I don’t know. And I don’t want to plan it so precisely either. At the moment I’m trying to master the small steps: to get ahead with my book; to create a website; to consider a domain name for the website, because there’s already a designer on the web with the same name. I need to find someone with expertise for that. Quite trivial things like that. Maybe some interesting contacts will result from this article. With that I mind, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org