Best of MyStylery Who: Katharina Schmitter, Textile Designer Where: Paris,…
Who: Jorinde Gersina, Photographer
Whether Til Schweiger, Hannelore Elstner or Veronica Ferres: the Berlin photographer Jorinde Gersina had them all already in front of her lens. Yet the 1 meter 76 tall, attractive blonde originally wanted to be an actress. However one of 28 removals intervened the native Frankfurter: instead of moving to Berlin to go to an acting school, the former Waldorf school student moved to Barcelona. She then worked in Majorca, in Munich and Australia. For seven years, the mother of three adult children has become sedentary. I visit Jorinde in her lovely apartment in Berlin Kreuzberg. This is where the photo-autodidact lives on 115 square meters together with her husband, the painter and director Peter Gersina.
MyStylery: You moved every three years on average. Wouldn’t it be time again to pack the crates again?
Jorinde Gersina: I love Berlin! Although the wanderlust still grips me often. During my childhood we had a holiday house in South France, which I miss a lot. The perfect world, the clarity and the feeling of being alive… I really miss that. Berlin really is a contrast.
MS: How did you get together, the camera and you?
JG: My father brought an old camera back home and we immediately tried it out. Photography quickly got an obsession, including an own darkroom in the home’s basement. Actually I wanted to study art after school in Hamburg. Then I found acting very exciting and went to Berlin, which was very grubby and had a great punk scene at that time. Suddenly I liked Barcelona even better. I learned Spanish, worked as translator and at the same time temped as a photographer.
MS: You already have two adult children and one cannot believe it, you’re also twofold grandmother…
JG (laughs): Today, my children are 28, 24 and 21 years old, the grandchildren are five and three. In Spain I got to know my husband in very young age and then got pregnant with our oldest daughter. I have always worked alongside, photographed fashion shows and then I specialized in portraits.
MS: Your photographs are characterized by extraordinary, atmospheric light…
JG: I try to photograph nearly everything with daylight. To find the perfect, magical light is my specialty.
MS: Mavie Hörbiger says about your pictures that she can see into her own soul by looking at them. What for a beautiful compliment…
JG: Right? An important photography-component is the intensive dispute with the counterpart. This takes some time and can’t be done whilst walking along. For each shooting I come up with special settings, like recently in Turkey, where I photographed a hotel and staged the employees. But this doesn’t automatically mean that the counterpart also joins in and participates. For a book about Europe I should have taken photographs of Theo Waigel.
MS: How come that so many actors often end up in front of your lens?
JG: I like to take pictures of actors because they are eager to try out new things and they have fun with it. Furthermore I know Til Schweiger or Maria Furtwängler for decades. This of course creates a complete different trust. And also another tonality. There I can also say things like: are you mad or pull yourself together. (laughs)
MS: Did you also experience encounters that haven’t been so harmonically?
JG: Yes, an actress once aborted the shooting. My at that time still little son came suddenly into the room, what bothered her so much that she packed her things and left.
MS: You accompanied Maria Furtwängler to India, who was on the run for the organization “German Doctors”.
JG: I was there seven times with her and the country fascinates me again and again. I love to read the faces of the people. Everyone has something beautiful inside. Even in the poorest places I could find something beautiful. That’s what I also experienced on a journey with Judith and Axel Milberg. They support orphanages in South Africa, which I escorted with my photography.
MS: Is there anything you wouldn’t take a picture of?
JG: Duckfaces! Can somebody please tell the girls how stupid it looks?
MS: Friends call you Princess Dollhouse…
JG (laughs): Yes, because my apartment is so much into detail. My home is my cocoon, which I constantly re-decorate. I brought a lot back from my travels. Those things all tell their own stories. For example I love the guard, which I once bought from an old lady in a street of Bangkok. I cling especially to the associated memories. BvH