Interview with Al Durer
I’m a man who makes pictures. I’m pretty much a hermit because that suits me best. For what it’s worth I’ve thought for a long time that as a species we don’t know what we are, or can be, so who we are cannot be said. But what could be more exciting than that? Plus we never ever know who someone else is. That is such a bonus and absolutely required reading. Where would we be without it? Lost without anything to find. We all have a map and that’s the best I can say about it.
West Bromwich in England is where I was born. The area was called “the black country”, this on account of the coal dust and smoke of the industrial waste lands. It was a very enjoyable place for a child to play in. My education at a state school was beyond all expectations and I left with a qualification to be a metal worker. As a child I read many novels from the library. My mother worked in a shop. My father worked in a factory as a painter. By this I mean he painted the factory. They both died when I was quite young. This gave me a completely different perception on existence. This change also allowed me the chance to get a grant to go to drama school in London. Working as an actor, mostly in the theatre, it was my good luck to know some great writers of excellent mind. Karin is my wife and best friend, and we now live in Europe.
People have gone to the moon to make portraits of themselves in a bleak landscape, while on earth here there’s a fantastic cast of billions to be pictured, and that’s just the people. All of this is taking place in sets that even Hollywood couldn’t afford. It’s all there to be pictured. And many now have a camera. Very democratic.
Rightly or wrongly I believe that if I can see it then I can make a picture of it. Walking around with the camera, it sometimes seems that the pictures, before and after making them, have a life of their own, as seen with the imagination. At best a sort of a divine intervention.
One just has to do it.