Robin Hinsch

November 8, 2019

Jìndù is an atmospheric and surprising series of photographs that draw the viewer into a Sci-Fi story dealing with challenges of contemporary life. Speaking in an interview, the photographer Robin Hinsch talks about Eurocentrism, stimulus saturation, and the “victory of humans over nature”.
LFI: Into what kind of world are you looking to convey the viewer?
Robin Hinsch: Let's start from the premise that we live in a world oriented towards efficiency, and that this way of thinking will become stronger and more dramatic over the coming years. Virtually every area of life is being measured and calculated, so that the largest values, or the increases in value of the world economy, can be generated in material financial products. This is the precise point where this piece of work begins. People play a very important role in it, but as superordinate creators. So the work centres a lot around the theme of “victory of humans over nature”. For this reason, the pieces should give rise to a feeling of dystopia, because – despite the apparent victory – humanity is actually destroying itself.

You only gave yourself 23 days to complete the project – which is not very long for the eight megacities you visited. Can you give us a sense of your photographic approach?
When taking the pictures, I was following a route that I had researched well in advance; then I adapted the images to each place. Of course, all these cities are completely overwhelming, but that was also the appeal of the project. The main thing for me was to establish whether these cities are similar – and, if yes, in what manner? Is there something like a common syntax, a common vocabulary, or does each city truly have its own attractive individuality? The saturation and excessive demands also had a fascinating appeal. My aim was to formulate a visual metaphor for our common future.

What photographic challenges did you have to overcome while realising the project?
The time frame was very tight, which sometimes led to logistical challenges: but they were solvable and also became part of the project per se. The places that my advance research had defined as relevant or interesting, however, did not create a picture by themselves. This is why it was and is important to me, in general, that my work has a language of its own that develops as the project unfolds. Because the work deals a lot with values and superordinate concepts, this form of abstraction was very important to me. A pleasant challenge I experienced, was recognising that there are perceptions and ways of looking at the world, other than those defined by Eurocentrism. 

Read more about the work of Robin Hinsch in the current issue of LFI Magazine.
Danilo Rößger
EQUIPMENT: Leica M10 with Summicron-M 35 f/2 Asph and Summilux-M 50 f/1.4 Asph

Robin Hinsch+-

© Robin Hinsch
© Robin Hinsch

Hinsch studied Photography in Karlsruhe, Hanover, and Hamburg. He has been working as a freelance photographer for international magazines and newspapers, such as The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and The Sunday Times Magazine. In 2016 he was appointed a member of the German Photographic Academy. In 2017 Hinsch founded the Studio 45 exhibition space in Hamburg, where he curates series dedicated to young, international photography. More