Peter Sempel

Jumping Zara, 1996

1200* Euro

The work of Peter Sempel (born 1954, lives in Hamburg) could be described as anecdotal photography. Each image depicts a specific point in the flow of events – snapshots showing what is happening around Peter Sempel, rather than posed or staged photographs. He captures, en passant, poetic moments and calls them “stills” – then, at the next encounter, he picks up on the little story he “froze” on film. Sempel seems to be able to do everything at once: film, still, encounter and narration. All these coalesce into a moment frozen in time, a short visual pause – then you press “play” and the flood of impressions begins again. This is precisely the effect with "Jumping Zara". The photograph was taken in 1994 in Montauk, New York during the filming of Jonas In The Desert. The artist Peter Beard and his daughter Zara were practising jumping. Then Zara showed what she learned and Sempel caught it on camera. Peter Beard says of the picture: “This is an Ode to Yves Klein.”

Sempel has been making films on dance and music ranging from punk to classical all over the world since 1981. He has worked with Blixa Bargeld, Nick Cave, Nina Hagen, Kazuo Ohno, Jonas Mekas and Lemmy of Motörhead, among others. Sempel’s new film, a documentary on Daniel Richter and Jonathan Meese, entitled "Die Ameise Der Kunst" (The Ant of Art), is scheduled to premiere in 2010.