Photographer, Daniel Sannwald’s universe is one of contrasts; we may find ourselves in a techno CGI fairy tale on one page, and deep inside a dramatic scene from German Expressionist Cinema the next.
Using high and low techniques, Sannwald has taken us to Ancient Egypt, amethyst caverns and deep into the Cosmos. Later this month, he invites us back there in his first ever exhibition, ‘The moon always follows the sun’, to be shown at this year’s annual international festival of fashion and photography in Hyères. The show features a selection of works from his first book, Pluto and Charon, including some of his most influential editorials from magazines including i-D (The Wild Women Do Issue), V and 032c. Playing with light, reflection and mirror image, Sannwald’s photographs roam between fashion and art; some sharp, some illustrated, some you like instantly and some that make you think first. i-D Online chat with the photographer about dreams, shooting couture on a Macbook and the mutual affection of Pluto and Charon.
Tell me about the world that you’ve been creating recently… Last year, on June 11th, I had a dream about a city with people who were unable to understand the concept or meaning of the future, people who just lived with the memories of the past and in the moments of the now. I am very busy these days, working to find a way to translate that dream into something. Apart from that, there are lots of nice projects and lots of travelling.
What were you trying to capture in this exhibition? The show is curated and edited by Michel Mallard, so will show my work through his eyes. It will be quite a big show with around 80 works, focusing on the key editorials I’ve done over the past five years.
Can you recall any memorable stories that happened whilst working on these images? Each editorial has its stories and its memories. One of my favourite stories is about my haute couture story for L’Officiel Paris. It was one of the most expensive productions for the magazine and we had over 35 dresses in the studio. We had great sets built and everything was ready to be shot but I had to do a quick Skype call before shooting the first image. That call gave me the spontaneous idea to shoot all the main images with Photo Booth on my Macbook Pro. The Art Director and the Fashion Director were, at first, very worried about this, using such a low-fi tool to capture such a high end product but the outcome was wonderful. The images looked almost like watercolour paintings. In the end, everyone was very happy!
What is the meaning of the title ‘The moon always follows the sun’? The title comes from an African love poem. The exhibition will show a selection of works found in my book Pluto and Charon. It’s my first monograph, which I published this year with LUDION Publishing. Pluto and Charon are unusual among planetary systems in that each is tidally locked to the other – Charon always presents the same face to Pluto, and Pluto always presents the same face to Charon. My book plays with the concept of these two bodies, it’s a kind of love letter to what will come, and what has already been.