swoond feature: maximilian haidacher


What a stroke of good fortune (on this first full day of autumn!) to feature the work of celebrated Austrian photographer
Maximilian Haidacher.


Drawn to deserted, remote areas that bear the heavy footprint of social phenomena (tourism, sporting activities, technological advancement), Haidacher plays with the relationship between civilization and nature. His photographs elicit a mystical tension between what is simultaneously present and invisible. I find Haidacher's photographs to be completely captivating in their stark beauty and their skillful organization of line and form.


Max was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. So here we go.

You've described your work as having "a touch of dreariness and abandonment." How have these themes evolved?
MH: First, I guess, it’s the result of the way in which I seem to work best: On my own, intuitive, in the early morning, in fog or under overcast skies, often on Sundays. Second, the concept of showing man-made changes in alpine, rural and urban spaces in a deserted kind of way appeared to be most interesting and promising among all other concepts I’ve been playing with in the beginning. And it still keeps me going.


Whose work do you most admire?
MH: A couple of years ago, when I decided to do art photography in a serious way, I was very much inspired by almost everything that came out of Germany in the 1980s and 90s, especially Bernd and Hilla Becher and their Düsseldorf School. People like Thomas Ruff, Boris Becker, Candida Höfer, Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte, Simone Nieweg and many more. Today, I’m having a hard time really admiring something.


What are your greatest inspirations in life?
MH: Good conversations, good books, newspapers, magazines, paintings, travelling and music.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
MH: A slice of bread and jam, some fruits and a very large cup of black coffee.


What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
MH: I guess a photograph my girlfriend shot some time ago: Two baby hedgehogs holding paws.

How do you feel about your photo equipment? Any changes or additions planned for the near future?
MH: Not really. After years of experimenting, after buying and selling lots of stuff, I think I’m finally happy using two medium format cameras.

If you could travel anywhere today and take photographs, where would you go?
MH: That destination probably changes everyday, but right now, I’d choose Norway or Canada.


What's on the last roll of film you shot?
MH: A huge plastic unicorn mounted on a truck with knights pictured on its tarp.

:images maximilian haidacher