Clare LaudeUntitled self portrait from When Water Comes Together with Other Water series (2014)

I spent the winter break of my junior year of college watching Fassbinder’s arguably best film Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Upon returning to my filmmaking class, I felt a spark to get out and make something. It seemed like I had all these new and intriguing ideas.

One of my classmates–and truthfully my only rival for dominance in the class–inquired what I’d watched over break. It was so casual and off-handed that I didn’t realize the trap until I was snared.

Tarkovsky, Wenders and Fassbinder are unparalleled geniuses, he started: But to schmucks like you and I what they offer in inspiration is just as addictive as any drug. We much be wary in approaching them, mindful of the profound effect they have on us.

I thought of him as a preposterous bloviating dickbag at the time, but increasingly I’m realizing he isn’t wrong.

And that’s what sucks me in to Laude’s work. She wears her profound regard for artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Tarkovsky on her sleeve but does so in her own distinct voice–I’d label it quiet, more in the way of the lack of volume being the point (think John Cage’s 4’33").

Further, I think I just share a certain affinity of personality with the artist since she expresses a connection to two of the most important places to me in the world: Island and Berlin.

And I’m always excited to see nude self-portraiture seamlessly integrated into fine art photography as an element instead of the sole focus.

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