Select/14 Photographer Interview: Jochen Klein

Jochen Klein is one of our four exhibitors from the most current Photofusion Select/14 show. These artists were each awarded a bursary of £500 alongside mentoring from Photofusion staff towards developing and exhibiting new, unseen work. We caught up with each photographer to learn more about the work they produced for Select/14 and how they put their bursary to use.


Jochen Klein


Jochen used a internet search of images of boats that refugees would use to navigate their journey across the sea. Taking those search results as a point of departure he builds models from everyday materials; packaging, plastic bags, rubber bands, and autumn leaves and photograph them in the studio in a setting. The scene he sets resemble a night scene on the ocean, plastic water and dark backdrop.

© Jochen Klein


We caught up with Jochen to hear more about how he produced this work…


What led you to focus on your subject matter?

I was listening to a Radio programme about the borders of the European Union and the refuge crisis in the mediterranean in particular – a drama that goes fairly unnoticed and usually only gets media attention when boats capsize and sink, and people die. I think at the time I was looking for a subject matter that would deal with the notion of documentary, but with an approach that wash´t traditional or literal – especially when viewed from a perspective of a photographer. I always had, and still have, big reservations regarding the production and distribution of imagery that depicts the suffering of people in areas of conflict and crisis; Rather I was interested how documentation could be interpreted alternatively and what witnessing could mean in our times – in particular as I am approaching a political and social subject from the perspective of an artist, from an aesthetic and philosophical perspective. That´s what I can contribute as an artist, and I hope that the work somehow symbolizes or illustrates the situation of the boat people, who give up everything and go on this journey completely unprotected and reduced to their bare lives.


How did you use the bursary in the production of this work?

I used the money for the production of the final works for the exhibition: printing and framing.


You can still see Jochen’s work in the Select/14 exhibition at Photofusion until 15th August