My name is Stefanie Minzenmay and I live in Neuss and Oldenburg, Germany; I studied and graduated in law at the University of Münster. From 2011 to 2014 I was a participant in the year classes of the Schule für künstlerische Fotografie (school for artwork photography) in Düsseldorf under Prof. Katharina Mayer and Birgitta Thaysen. Since 2014 I am a member of a group of six photographers called Photo 5Plus.
My photographic image compositions are mostly very precise and reduced, almost austere, and yet always have narrative depth. The photos attached are taken from the portrait series “Protected Privacy – Protect Yourself!” which I commenced in 2014. The series addresses how young people deal with today’s media. As “digital natives” their use of the information possibilities offered by the Internet and social networks comes easily and natural to them. At the same time, through the use of social media, information is also being fed to this media. The people document their life, show where they currently are, usually live, how they celebrate and what they eat and wear.
In my portrait series the person and portrait as the viewer’s source of information and reflection are the aspects that interest me. My work primarily concerns information that is unnaturally suppressed, obscured and hidden, which is not received by the viewer and leads to some irritation. Additionally I am interested very much in reduction and simplicity, sometimes reducing the portrait of a person to a sculpture.
When the people realise that the portraits I take do not show a kind of masquerade but rather simply reduce the person by “protecting” itself they very often start to interact with me and come back to me with their own ideas. I have the impression that seeing their portrait framed on a wall the people are much more sensitive about themselves and the information that can be taken from the picture than by posting it to the Internet – although it is the same image.
All digitally recorded portraits in the series “Protected Privacy – Protect yourself!” are captured in a daylight studio without artificial lighting.
In another series, I am interested in key items or objects taken from fairy tales that at once trigger the viewer`s association and experiences in connection with the fairy tale referred to by seeing this single object. The viewer at once remembers the fairy tale although the reference object is very much reduced and eliminated from a certain context. Fairy tales are still very much related to our childhood. Although my photos try to look on the fairy tales in a grown-up, austere and logical way the viewer’s reflections are mostly magical and fantastic. [Official Website]