FAQ

What Camera Do You Use?

I currently use a Canon 5D Mark III and a Fujifilm X100. The lens that I use most frequently is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II. Until 2012 I used a Canon 5D with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS. From 2005 until 2006 I used a Canon 20D. In the age of 35mm film I used a Nikon F80 and a Yashica T5. My first SLR camera was a Nikon F801s. I really loved the Yashica T5 with its Carl Zeiss Tessar T* F/3.5 lens.

Who Do You Consider Your Biggest Influences?

I would have to divide this into different periods to make some kind of intellectual itinerary. Pending that: William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Rem Koolhaas, Rei Kawakubo, Georges Perec, David Foster Wallace, Gerhard Richter, Forced Entertainment, David Carson, Frank Castorf, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Pina Bausch, Steve McCurry, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Christopher Doyle, Lee Friedlander, Jacques Rancière, Robert Wilson and Thomas Ostermeier.

What Drives You?

I like to saturate every minute of my life. It is a cliché, but life is short and the world is amazing. I like to see, hear, read, taste and understand as much as I can. I like to constantly expand my horizon. Even though I may appear to be standing still I am in fact moving. Since every day may be your last I try to do at least one thing every day that makes the day worthwhile. At various moments in my life I have fallen upon hard times, but I've always rebounded. I set myself long term and short term goals and review my progress on a regular basis. I am easily bored. I like to make room for idle time to allow my thoughts to drift. I have a rich imagination. I like to share my ideas, not because I'm eager for recognition, but because I don't want to keep them to myself. Who knows others might have a better use for them. Finally, like every artist I always look forward to the next project.

Why Dance?

Why indeed? Why not write an essay, pursue a career in finance or fight world poverty? I grew up with experimental theatre and contemporary art, but it wasn't until I was at university that I became interested in dance. One day I saw a performance by William Forsythe and it was as if I saw my own thoughts materialized on stage. From that moment on I was hooked and began to explore every corner of the dance world. At some point a friend of mine told me to not just write about dance, but to explore my own ideas. At first I dismissed it, but deep down inside I DID want to create dance myself. So one day I organized a workshop, showed my work to some people, did some shows and the rest, as they say, is history. I still only work in dance because I enjoy it, because I want to bring something into being that pleases ME and not because a contract requires me to create a new piece, as in the institutionalized dance world. I try to create something that is intelligent, intellectually stimulating and emotionally gratifying. That doesn't mean that I think I succeed in doing so, but I keep on trying.

Did You Ever Take Dance Lessons Yourself?

No, I never took any dance classes. I never took a photography course either. Everything I learned, I learned by closely studying the work of artists I admire and by experimenting myself. I did have the privilege of being able to watch the creation and rehearsals of several productions by William Forsythe.

Where Do You Get Inspiration?

From everywhere and nowhere. I take in a lot of information all of which translates into my creative work. Besides, I believe that the job of an artist is to inspire and not to be inspired.

Did You Ever Consider Working With Amateur Dancers?

I did, but when I'm working on a project I prefer to work with professional dancers. The reason is twofold. An amateur can do something good and surprising by chance. A professional can be consistently good and occasionally brilliant. You can watch plenty of amateur dancers on YouTube. People who pay to attend a performance or visit a gallery want to experience something they can't experience on YouTube or elsewhere. To achieve that you need to work with professionals.

How Do You Combine Working In Finance With Being an Artist?

Art is about freedom. It is about being free to do what you want and about expressing yourself the way you want. Being an artist is not the same as making money from selling your art. Having a job gives me the freedom to work the way I want to work. I don't have to accept invitations to make a piece only to pay the bills. I'm not stuck in a one or two new pieces per year routine. I can travel to the places that I want to visit and photograph what I want to photograph. As to my research, having a job means that I'm not forced to recycle my own ideas only to keep on publishing. I can write an article when I think I've got something to say. I think it is silly that today scientific productivity is measured in terms of the number of published papers.

What Event Changed Your Life?


I guess that would have to be seeing my first ever dance performance or perhaps for the first time seeing the Ballett Frankfurt perform. Otherwise, I remember seeing the catwalk show of the Comme des Garçons 1992 Spring/Summer collection on television which came as a complete shock. Suddenly a lot of things that had been lingering somewhere in the back of my mind fell into place. Shirts can have sleeves of different length, buttons don’t have to be evenly spaced, fabrics can be mixed etc. I had the same shock of recognition when I first saw the work of David Carson which happened at about the same time. A few years ago I did a glacier hike, which totally blew my mind. It's the closest thing to being on another planet. Since then I try to visit at least one glacier every year.

What, If Anything, Do You Regret Most?

In general I would say I regret taking too much risk when I shouldn't have and not taking enough risk when I should have.

What Would You Like To Change About Yourself?

I'm not really good at self-promotion so that's one area where I'd like to be better. Evidently, I'd like to have a healthy athletic body, instead of the fragile one that I currently have and that keeps breaking down.

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Don't be shy. Stop wasting your time. Go out more. Invest your time and energy in projects with a large upside. Do what you can do now and what might be more difficult when you grow older.

Didn't (..) Already Do That?

I don't claim that my work is original. Of course, the whole notion of originality is one of the most contentious concepts in contemporary aesthetics. In everything I do, whether I'm creating a dance performance or taking photographs, I follow my own fascinations. There are, however, likely to be people who share the same fascinations. If you think that some of my photos look like those of some famous photographer, most likely I will know and admire his or her work. My way of working is constantly evolving. And yes, I know that William Forsythe has developed many improvisation techniques, that John Zorn also used games in some of his work, that Pina Bausch also presented the dancers with all kinds of questions to work with and that countless artists in various fields have used cut and paste techniques of some kind.

What Does Being a Photographer Mean To You?

I take a lot of photos and I do invest in good equipment, but I don't really consider myself a photographer. Photography for me is a way of engaging with the world. It forces me to look closely, to be alert to what's happening around me. I see a lot more when I'm taking pictures than when I'm just walking around. When I'm travelling I try to read a book about the places that I visit so as to understand what I see, whether it is the history of Italy or geology.

What Is Your Favourite City?

Paris because it has the most cultural institutions and because after more than twenty-five years I still haven't visited them all; London and New York because the dynamic is contagious; Hong Kong and Los Angeles because of the endless photographic opportunities.

What Are Your Favourite Travel Destinations?

I haven't travelled to every corner of the earth, so the present list is preliminary. No matter which other places I'll visit the U.S. South West and in particular Utah will always remain in my top three. I also like the Alps and I would like to go back to Norway. Otherwise Italy and Spain have everything: beautiful landscapes, a rich cultural history and excellent food.

What Perfume Do You Wear?

Depends on the occasion and how I feel. The ones that I wear regularly are: Dior Homme, Chanel Egoïste Platinum, French Lover by Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle, Peruvian Ambrette by Zegna, Ormonde Jayne Man and Comme des Garçons Man.

Is There Anything You Don't Like?

I don't like gaming, as in computer games, sudokus etc. I'd rather do something productive, like reading a book or thinking. In terms of food, I don't like offal, lobster, crab and snails. In fact, I only eat meat out of politeness when I'm someone's guest. I don't really like sex and nudity, I've got nothing against it, it's just that there are many ways to dress up and only one way of being nude. I've also grown bored with love stories and relationship dramas, there are so many other stories to tell.