Florian, you not only frequently visit New York and Los Angeles, but also the deserts of the U.S. What brings you there?
The collaborations with the Donald Judd Foundation and the land artist James Turrell. Between 2000 and 2008, I frequently went to Marfa, Texas, for the Judd Foundation. Very impressive. And I keep going back to Flagstaff, Arizona, because Turrell has his crater there (the Roden Crater, an extinct volcano that Turrell has been using for over 40 years for the construction of a spectacular sky and light observatory); I do a lot of photography for him. All the artists I think are amazing are in the desert, such as Michael Heizer and Walter De Maria, who, unfortunately, died in 2013. Each of them installed gigantic projects in different states.
Have you ever thought about moving to the U.S.?
Yes, in 2003. But then I met a woman and stayed here. New York is wonderful, but if you actually have to live there, it’s incredibly stressful, brutal and expensive. You’re not living in Manhattan or Queens but somewhere on the outskirts. But if you come to the U.S. as a German photographer, you are at an advantage. Americans love “Made in Germany” photography.
Your work space is in the garden of your parents’ house, where you have been living for over four years. How did that come about?
I have always wanted to build something here. And my wife and I needed a place to work. She restores paper and has her desk here as well. The idea developed like this: I had photographed the military memorial for the architect Andreas Meck in Berlin. As a result, we spent a lot of time together, driving from Munich to Berlin in the morning and back at night. That’s when I told him about the garden house concept. I had no idea whether I could afford it.