Adam Schreiber is 34 and this interview was conducted by Paul Paper.
PAUL PAPER: I read that your images are largely inspired on research at various archives. Is it true and how does that happen?
ADAM SCHREIBER: It is true. Though I’m uncertain whether to call my activity “research.” Maybe research is the inevitable result of the encounters with these places…. a handy nomenclature to characterize the resulting imagery. Usually, the pictures do not function as illustrative information regarding the given institution. So I like to think the work becomes a way to look back at those institutions, heavily filtered, distorted, formal, detached. And this then becomes a kind of research, or ontological longing, into institutional being.
How the pictures happen is slow. Gaining access is difficult. Over time, in multiple encounters, clues arise. The architecture, the light, the schematics, the smell…….. I can’t calculate the effect of these things on photographs, nor separate them from “how.” In each encounter I learn something about the environment, opportunities present themselves. Certain salient objects appear, others need assistance. Sometimes there’s a picture to be made. But more often I spend hours just looking, trying to obtain position. I use a very inconvenient camera, and that helps meet the pace of the place(s). The shadow cast by the clarity of these pictures is clouded by a million reluctant conditions. There is a lot of waiting involved.
PP: You seem to keep low profile - I haven’t found much information about you or your work… Do you want the viewer to see just the picture without knowing any extra information?
AS: I’ve been slow to project. In ways, I like the slow reveal of work, the possibility of an eventual constellation of pictures. And I’m interested in the limited clues that accompany them: dates, titles, contexts—- they form an informational subtext….like a shadow, imperfect, on the brink of irrelevance.
Ultimately, it seems less a question of what I want than what the work becomes. I like what Jennifer Moxley says in Fragments of a Broken Poetics:
XII The poem resists. It resists coming into being. it resists eloquence. It resists transmitting unpleasant or embarrassing knowledge. It resists grammatical constraints. It resists moving away from simple utterance. It resists revision. it resists completion. It resists success. Hopefully, the poet resists as well.
PP: Are you fascinated by idea that a man might live on a moon someday?
AS: I think I’m more fascinated by our inability to live on the moon.
PP: Top science-fiction films?
AS: Werckmeister Harmonies, Barry Lyndon, Host, Solaris (1972), d’est, Russian Ark, The Face of Another, Sunshine, Silent Running, Alien, La jetée.