Maike Bergold talks about her relationship with photography
by Christoper Osborne.
“And in analogue photography, there are occasional mishaps which can lead to interesting results in a way that does not often happen in the digital world”. Maike Bergold
Maike Bergold studied photography in Hamburg and is now based in Frankfurt. She shoots using a mixture of analogue and digital, although she points out that she tries to shoot in analogue every day.
“My analogue images are of everyday things. I find that I can capture everyday details better in analogue. The analogue environment slows things down. It takes longer to focus, and there is a time between taking an image and seeing the results when they come back from processing”, Maike explains. “And in analogue photography, there are occasional mishaps which can lead to interesting results in a way that does not often happen in the digital world. Sometimes I find that the negatives hold a better image than I had expected”. Maike goes on to say “one of the things I find with analogue photography is that it elevates the value of a picture and by extending the moment itself”.
“In conceptual photography, there is a lot of thinking. Sometimes I over plan. My analogue point and shoot camera offers a release from this. And as a result, the images are sometimes more special because they are less perfect”, says Maike. “I always have my point and shoot camera with me”.
I asked Maike what conceptual photography meant to her. “The idea behind the image or series of images is the most important thing. The photographs exist to support the idea”.
Maike took a vocational course in Media Studies and in 2017 studied photography at University. I found that this is what I really wanted to do”.
Like many early-career photographers, Maike has a full-time job to fund her work. She sells cameras in a specialist camera store in Frankfurt. I asked Maike if she had considered commercial photography. “I am trying to resist this. I feel that photography is too special. I do not want to have to do work that I am not interested in”.
We talk about the difficulties that early-career photographers face in finding exhibition space. Maike is a realist and understands that galleries need to sell work to survive, however, it is frustrating that well-known names find gallery access so easy. That said, Maike has a residence at Studio Vortex in Paris this summer.
“My last project was a coming of age story. I believe that you have a second coming of age in your twenties. This is a period where you have to let go of some relationships and find yourself in the world. This is about values, beliefs and timing. I wanted to express this as a photographic project”.
“My next project will be about Mother and daughter relationships. The working title is “Can you leave on the light?”. It will consider how the dynamics change as the daughter migrates from child to adult. This relationship is both very fragile and at the same time strong. It is about capturing a change in dynamics, an attempt to be friends first and mother and daughter second. My mother and I have not had an easy relationship. So, there is an element of asking for forgiveness. It’s about acceptance and it’s once again in life about trying not to take things personally (even though they might seem more personal than anything else in this case. And it is about letting things go. Maybe the key is forgiveness and never giving up on each other and then eventually you can find your way back?”.
I asked Maike what her mother thinks about this project. She smiles. “I think there is a part of her that is a bit nervous. But we both realise that this could provide a platform for us to connect in a new way”. Maike laughs. “There will probably be some fights too. But, it will work out fine. This is a reflection on my reality”.
Images © Maike Bergold 2022.
You might also be interested in this article on German photographer Hannah Schemel at https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/07/hannah-schemel-friday-focus/