W E R N E R
A M A N N
SURF FICTION is Werner Amann's work from 1997. It engages with social reality and image bound-culture in Los Angeles and other urban centers in the U.S. . Beyond a mere documentary or created approach, SURF FICTION interlinks photography with collages, typography, video stills, abrupt breaks and double page spreads - switching with each page turn from one plot to another. The work play projections of a myth that regenerates itself from day to day, producing an image of Los Angeles and at the same time visual reflection on modern reality.
How did the work for surf fiction come together - is it an ode to the city of L.A.?
____It could be an ode or a fair warning. Or citing Robert Venturi: "Learning from Los Angeles".
Would you call it a documentation taking place in the nineties?
____No. Although it has a lot of documentary elements it is not purely documentary in a classic photographic sense. And to me “Surf Fiction“ is as much about the future as the past.
Or is it rather a photographic essay?
____Rather a visual thesis.
The whole "Surf Fiction" complex looks like a collage from different perspectives, ranging from video snippets to portrait photography...
____Yes. It plays on a lot of viewpoints and influences but my intention was to meld them with a strong authorial eye and voice.
How did it develop and how much graphic design was implemented?
____Mostly playing a lot with the material I had collected on a trial and error basis again and again and being very strict in selecting the images and montages which stand out.
How long did it take to compile?
____It took a year of going back and forth with the concept till I had a feeling this could work. The shooting then took around three months and the editing process was four months straight.
Do you find any parallels between Berlin and L.A.?
____Only that I love both cities but in a very different way.
What’s next for you... are you working on another complex of work?
____Yes, but my religion prohibits me to tell you before it's finished.