Pia Schöttke, Munich and Berlin based, born in 1997, is an Artist and studied sociology in Munich. She thematizes and conceptualizes her photography with sociological questions and weighs her perspectives in the context of philosophy. Her work is about truth and the subjectivity of the individual.
She gives crucial attention to the small, self-evident things that surround us all.
Thereby her images are as versatile as her ideas and thoughts behind them and show both the beauty in detail and her perspective on the world.
How would you describe your "path" to art, to becoming an artist? Was there a decisive point that brought you to this profession/vocation?
Art has always been part of me. The consciousness with which we all go through life, perceive and understand things, seems for me personally first of all completely normal, less special. I started photography when I was about 10 years old. I can still remember that one of the first photos showed a woman dressed all in red, standing in front of a wall that was also red... The photo was taken on vacation with the family back then in La Gomera.
When I showed my photos at home then family and friends were rather surprised that I have not made any shots of palm trees or other snapshots. I understood little by little over the years that I have a different way of looking at things. And that brings us to the question of how I came to art: Through exchanges with others, conversations with my mother, who has always understood my thoughts and perspectives.
When I moved to Munich in 2017, I was suddenly surrounded by completely new impressions, people and perspectives. I took regular walks, this sharpened my eye, I started to focus my attention on the small details that seem to be set up only functionally and naturally in our everyday life. I began to capture these details photographically, because I perceive in them an incredible peculiarity and aesthetics.
2. abstract photography, a very profound profession! How did you come up with the idea?
It wasn't like I woke up one morning and thought "now I'm doing abstract photography".
It was more of a process that developed through "night walks". I would often just go out after midnight, be out with my camera and music in my ears, and drift through the night. I was sometimes 4 hours just walking in the city and floated from one motif to the next, it feels like a rush. The colors, shapes, the whole setting touched me so deeply, all the beauty of the details that accompany us all every day. You can compare it to music, which calls different scenarios into your head and touches you emotionally very strongly. I feel the same way about my photographs. The compositions of color, lights, shadow settings, reflections and coincidences that can be found on the streets give me an incredible amount of space for my thoughts and ideas. Abstraction is on the street if you have the eye for it (laughs).
It's nice that you say it's profound! That's how I see it, too.
In fact, the depth of these images has to do with yourself. Abstraction gives little, the real meaning is related to your consciousness, which is sometimes composed of culture, socialization, experiences, needs or fears. The pictures do not show any concrete content, like a tree or a house. The viewer completes a picture by his own knowledge to a whole. So to speak, the subjective consciousness is projected onto the picture object and thus a sensual picture content is created. The viewer awakens the picture, so to speak, and gives it meaning and significance. And this is the subjectivity that I want to thematize. It is to be shown that there is no objective truth. The own truth is generated with the viewer and the viewed object and varies constantly.
The viewer is confronted in this process unconsciously with himself, his logic and culture, and represents in the understanding about what he sees, himself, his being. Therefore also "nice to meet me".
If with it it was understood that the own perspective, the own truth and position is just as constructed as that of the other contemporaries, more space for tolerance is given and with it the chance for exchange and discussion!
3. from where do you draw your inspiration? How can one imagine the development process with you?
My inspiration is anchored everywhere, in conversations, cities, observations, people, even in construction sites or music. Everything that seems special, abnormal or humorous to me are sources from which I draw inspiration!
But sociology also plays a big role for me. I also took the subject in my master's degree in addition to my bachelor's degree. Social and philosophical questions arise, but metaphysics also plays a crucial role.
4. typical for abstract photography, one does not recognize any of your original, real motifs. Would you like to tell us something about your technique, how you create your artworks from real "backdrops"?
In fact, I do not reveal what exactly was taken, even with which camera. In addition, the works also have no title.
The background is that I don't want to give a context to orient the viewer. The pictures are not about the question of what it once was. It is about the question of what it is now.
The viewer is supposed to make sense of the images and create a personal meaning. The meaning is completely subjective; what is associated with shapes and colors, what is seen in the images. In a way, it is about creating something that stands between the viewer and the image.
In this context it is worth mentioning that my concepts always go under the label "Pictures of Images". Thereby I play with the quote of Mitchell: "You can hang a picture, you can`t hang an image". My photographs are, as I described above, photographs of my perception and my concept of aesthetics. I have captured this Imaginary Entity photographically. Although it is now by digital printing on a real glass plate and thus a material object, but to see is still my image.
I am always happy to discuss it.
6. How was it for you to gain a foothold in the Munich art scene?
There is a great network and incredibly talented artists! You just have to look at the final projects of the art academy students. Through Dana Greiner, an incredibly talented and profound artist and friend, I have been able to gain an insight into the artist scene and witness great projects.
Also the art fair "ArtMuc" shows the range and diversity of creative people in the city, it's a great feeling to be surrounded by people who share the passion for art!