I recently had the honor of hosting Candida Hofer and her husband in my apartment during the week of the Hong Kong Art Fair. To spend an evening with her, after admiring her photography for ages, was more than I could have hoped for. Like her work, her very presence plays on scale- her large-format photographs of interiors possess an almost surreal level of detail, and she herself has a very large presence despite her slight frame and discrete charm.
Our brief six minute Q&A left no room for editing, which seems very much like her anyway- concentrated brilliance…
KOTUR: What is your favorite bag?
Candida: This one I have with me, from Issey Miyake. It’s black and holds everything I need and fits my shoulder.
KOTUR: What do you never leave home without?
Candida: I am not the type of person who has special or favourite things. I only take things with me that I really need when I am travelling. These are usually a map and some books about the city. I also take my mobile phone, a computer and a pencil. These are normal things I always have with me.
KOTUR: If you were to live in any other time, what would it be?
Candida: I am now at an age where I am very happy not to be a girl anymore. I think I grew up in a time [after the Second World War] where there was so much change and I learnt a lot. It was very exciting growing up in Cologne which was the capital of art. I met a lot of people at this time especially artists, writers and scientists – people who influenced me.
KOTUR: What inspires you?
Candida: I never think about what inspires me. Earlier on [in my career] I did very different type of work and when I was finished with this, I switched over to interiors which I have been doing for 14 years. I am very happy I can do what I want and select places I want to go and photograph. I also look through a lot of books and magazines, which can be helpful. When I watch TV or go to a movie, I also focus on the interiors of a scene. Fashion doesn’t really inspire me.
KOTUR: Who would you come back as in your next life?
Candida: When I was really young I wanted to be a singer and be part of a band. When you are an artist you do the work by yourself and in a way you are alone. But you have to talk to people about it, therefore it’s helpful to have a group you trust and whom you can talk to.
KOTUR: What are you most proud of?
Candida: I am really proud that I can manage everything I am doing in a short time and it still makes me happy.
KOTUR: What are you least proud of?
Candida: I don’t think about it.
KOTUR: What is your idea of pure bliss?
Candida: When I feel good and the people around me feel good and everything works fine.
KOTUR: What is your favourite smell.
Candida: No smell.
KOTUR: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Candida: To relax.
KOTUR: What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?
Candida: I prefer to have no great holidays. I like to relax and be by myself but I prefer in a way to keep busy.
KOTUR: If you could meet someone in history, who might that be?
Candida: There are too many.
KOTUR: How would you like to be remembered?
Candida: Someone else needs to help me answer this.