For many people Sven Marquardt’s face has become synonymous with the legendary Berlin clubbing mecca Berghain, where he acts as the doorman. However there is much more depth to this man than the gruff exterior and stories of rejection that quite a few people come away from the club with.
Marquardt is also a renowned photographer on the German art scene and will make his way to Australia to exhibit his work for the very first time this month, as part of the Head On Photo Festival. Much of Marquardt’s work is shot in black and white on analog film, which he credits to his up bringing. “It was really difficult to get colour film in East Germany, and what was available sucked big time,” he explained.
You may wonder why now though he still sticks with this style along with using analog film, given the proliferation of digital media. As Marquardt explained, it’s all a matter of the stories he is trying to convey: “I start with the question ‘is there a story to tell?’ So I feel like black and white photography creates a different drama and has a soberness to it that I like.”
When speaking about the other side of his life in the Berlin nightlife scene, Marquardt’s artistic mind and eye can’t help but creep in at times, especially when addressing the myth that ‘wearing all black improves your odds of successful entry into Berghain’. “If we were just a club full of models and pretty people all dressed in black it would be nice to look at for half an hour, but god that would be boring,” he remarked. (JA)
May 5–22 (Exhibition Opening & Artists Talk May 5, 6–9pm). Ambush Gallery, Level 3, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale. Info: ambushgallery.com