VINCENT JENDLY — Interview
Vincent Jendly, Switzerland-based photographer.
Hello Vincent Jendly, how are you?
I’m a little bit excited. My first exhibition in a museum should happen in the United States, showing my New York series.
Can you introduce yourself?
At 40, I was bored in advertising copywriting. I decided to chart a new radical course in my career and to venture into photography. During this midlife crisis, I did not buy a Porsche, but cameras. I have learned with friends photographers, and much alone.
What is your experience and approach to photography?
I do this job since a few years, so I’m not sure I can answer this question. I am in full exploration. What I like is to bring beauty and if possible, a new look on things. Touching people makes me happy.
Can you tell us more about your series of New York? What was the main idea?
For my first personal work, I searched for an idea that would give me the opportunity to create a serious and solid series – already eager to tell a story – and to photograph buildings. New York was offering all of this. I immediately wanted to offer new points of view. I therefore sought and obtained access to private places, closed to public. Nobody knew me, it was hard the first year. The following sessions were easier, because my new real estate network trusted me. I even forged friendships there. Showing New York differently, also by showing a very tough city in where people are exhausted. In that world, the investment needed to reach success is absolutely inhuman. So for this work, the human factor has disappeared from my images, and the gigantic facades had to be icy. The humans turn anecdotal. Of course, there are hundred of megacities. Nonetheless, I want to stick with this one, clearly because of the collective unconscious, and also because for me it remains THE city.
Have you been inspired by artists or photographers who worked on a similar subject?
No but I discovered similar works later, as Michael Wolf series about Hong Kong and Chicago, for example.
Is there any photographer, artist or architects you appreciate a lot?
Many, especially many women. I like very different work, very different sensibilities. I like the fragility of Rinko Kawauchi or Sally Mann, but also the rigor of many photographers inspired by the Düsseldorf School. Finally, I feel that a good picture hanging by a thread…
What is your next project?
Certainly a series in The United Arab Emirates and another one in the Swiss Alps.
Which books are on your bedside tables?
Many novels. I like especially French literature.
The last word…
Thank you very much! And this sentence, that I appreciate a lot, from Leo Burnett, a famous advertiser: « If you try to catch stars, you will not catch any. But you will have more than a bunch of mud ».
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler.
Photographs ©Vincent Jendly.