Sarah Schönfeld

Were you always creative growing up?
Every child is creative, i guess. The question is, if you can keep or rediscover it.

What’s the story behind your first camera?
This might be disappointing, but there was no real first camera. I had a pink plastic one with a sun and a cloud on it.

What are your thoughts on the art scene in Berlin?
I find that it is very packed. There are so many artist here that is can be impossible to breathe.

That said, who are some creative individuals in Germany and the greater Europe that have always fascinated you?
It’s more about what I am reading, listening to, and seeing now. It would be absurd to quote all the names of people of whose work I love. Right now though, I am enjoying reading Marshall McLuhan, the works of my friend Christina Vagt, and Dietrich Diedrichsen. My favorite musicians are Fourtet, Darkside, and Bach at the moment. In the last years, Pedro Palva and Joao Maria Gusmao, Fischl/Weiß, David Claerbout, Camille Henrot, Danh Vo, and Tino Seghal impressed me a lot. And if you ask for photographers, I would name Wolfgang Tillmans, John Stezacker, and Joachim Koester. I could continue! A lot of my friends developed quite impressive practices, like Kathrin Sonntag, Johannes Raether, Ulf Aminde, and Kitty Kraus – to name a few.

Tell us about the Mama Du Sau series – from the inspiration to the title.
This is a work about my kindergarden. I had a very strong relationship to this place. It was somehow the architectural manifestation of my childhood and the decay kicked me, particularly the disappearance. In this work I dealt with Benjamin’s Trace and Aura. The Trace is here but this, what was left, is probably far. The Aura is far, but this Aura created can be very close. The Trace is something you can possess, while the Aura possesses you. The title was graffitied on the wall of the building and I loved it.

What inspired you to start All You Can Feel?
Many things: friend dying from heroine overdose, family members on pharmaceudicals, and the discovery of the chemical self.

How did you get your hands on the drugs?
I bought them!

Of all the recreational substances you worked with, which ones surprised you the most?
Ketamine was definitely the most surprising drug, but also great because it is one which has many places in the universe of substances. It used to be a narcotic for animals, but then it became very popular as a party drug and not it is a very promising antidepressant.

How did you balance both the scientific and artistic aspects of this project?
Kant said that chemistry should be named as systematic art, not as science. I consider this to be somehow an alchemistic approach. Alchemy is a mixture between science and art and magic. I think that is how I see my work also.

What has been the public response to this series?
There have been many interesting reactions. For example: the call from a drug counseling center, who told me that they discovered my work in a magazine and tried a spontaneous experiment with their clients. They asked them to choose their favorite picture without knowing the title. 100% chose the drug they were addicted to; even the secretary did, and she was only on coffee.

What’s your favorite drink?
Champagne and herbal tea.

What’s your favorite movie?
Inglorious Bastards and The Birds.

If you could see one musician perform live, which would you choose?
Grigorii Sokolow and Lady Gaga.

What is on your travel bucket list?
Me, myself, and I.

What songs are on your ultimate playlist?
Hallelujah Anyway / Candi Staton
Do You Love Me / Bangaly FAmily
She Just Likes to Fight / Fourtet
Oh Superman / Mandy vs Bookashade
When the Sun Hits / Solvent
Windmills of Your Mind / Noël Harrison
OAR 003b / Oni Ayhun
Time to Get Physical / Nice7
Luchtoom / Kollektiv Turmstrasse
Lay Down Your Blade / Joy Wellboy
Ich ruf zu Dir / Grigorij Sokolow – Bach – Busoni
Beauchamp / Allmann
Photographic / Depeche Mode
Endlessly / MUSE
Forever Dolphin Love (Remix) / Connan Mockasin
Lion (Jamie xx Remix) / Fourtet
Her Eyes / Console
Dignity of Love / Ariane Blank
Jesus was a Boy / Ben Mono
Before One / Ben Klock
Buzzcut Season / Lorde
Papertrails / Darkside
Lovecry / Fourtet
Barbarella / Bob Crewe and Charles Fox
Brother / Koudlam
Howling (Ame Mix) / Frank Wiedermann
Feel So Good / Daniel Schwarz


For more of Sarah’s work, check out her website.