Documenting the Artist: Reiner Holzemer

We speak to Reiner Holzemer, the director of a new documentary on Dries Van Noten, about exploring unknown worlds through the documentary lens.

"I wanted to delve into the developmental process of the industry and to show how Dries’ designs came to life."

What made you want to use documentaries as a medium to depict artists and designers?

In 1990, I was making a documentary on a photographer, Ray D’Addario; he was an American soldier who photographed the Nuremberg trials in 1944 where Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer stood accused. I wanted to explore how he could coexist for close to a year next to Nazi war criminals, photographing them as he would have had it been anyone else. I wasn’t that interested in the artistry aspect of it but that was how it started. My earlier work focused on photography and photographers as it was a reflection of my own work as a documentarist; the two disciplines are very similar.

Is documentary an effective means of telling a subject’s story?

I’m not sure—I’ve never tried doing any...


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