The first pictures of my ALEX series were taken in the summer of 2008. I had just bought a new camera at Alexanderplatz and took my first few test shots there. Alexanderplatz isn’t far from where I live, so I went there from time to time in my lunch break – always with my new small camera with a 24mm wideangle lens. A few weeks later while looking at the pictures I had taken there, I realised that this might be an exciting project to keep working on. In the years before I had been travelling a lot – mainly to big cities of the western word until I finally had the first compilation of my Urban B’Sides together which were shown in some exhibitions in 2008. So this would be a nice contrast – instead of taking pictures around the globe I would just walk to the same place over and over again to see what was happening there. Alexanderplatz – Berliners simply call the place „Alex“ – is a very lively and busy square with lots of different kinds of people – it’s a microcosmos in its own right in the central district „Mitte“ of Berlin. And a perfect stage for my photographs.
After half a year I was offered the possibility to show a first interim conclusion of my ALEX series at Monochrom, Berlin. The reactions were surprising – the range of feedback I got, went from „Absolutely Bullshit“ to „Brilliant – your best work ever“. So this was a real motivation for me to keep going on with that project. If it provokes such different feelings it would be a good idea to go a bit further.
I always thought that the right way to present those images would be in a book. By the end of last year I produced a first dummy. This worked out quite well, but still not good enough. The printing wasn’t really striking and the editing was not yet distinct enough. I went on taking pictures at Alexanderplatz and after thinking about how to produce and how to publish the book this summer, the decision was made to produce it in time for a release in autumn this year when ALEX will be part of a group show during The 4th European Month of Photography in Berlin.
Writing a decent preface seems to be as difficult as editing the pictures perfectly. This is the stage that the book is now at. I think I’ll write a view posts about the development of it here on blog61 – so this will tell a story about the pleasure but also the problems in producing my first photo book.