Alexander Binder on "Allerseelen"

Alexander Binder has released a new series of magical photographs entitled "Allerseelen". I got a chance to ask him a few questions - read on. - keba robinson

How did you get into photography?
I guess it all started when I was about 14 years old and my parents gave me a crappy little plastic camera. But it took nearly another 15 years until I exhibited my works for the first time.

What does "Allerseelen" mean?
"Allerseelen" is a Roman Catholic bank holiday in Germany. The English translation is "All Souls' Day", "Feast of All Souls" or "Day of the Dead". It is a day of remembrance for loved ones who have passed away. As far as I can remember the prayers shall help the souls in purgatory to enter the gates in heaven. So the whole concept sounds a little bit like getting into the next level of a video game ...

Did you have a message that you wanted to convey with this collection of photos?
All my photos are some kind of modern interpretation of the medieval “Memento Mori”. Like the works of medieval painters they shall remind us in a certain way of our own mortality – and further on – motivate us to think about our afterlife. Therefore I especially love the combination of images, which are at a first glance vibrant and playful, but at the same time dark, sad and sinister. It's all about the duality of light and dark, good and evil.

What attracts you to such dark imagery?
I grew up in the Black Forest, a rural area in south Germany. The whole culture there is influenced by the fairy tales of Wilhelm Hauff and the Brothers Grimm. And most of their tales are quite cruel and full of witches, trolls and demons. Later on I spent my whole puberty in the local video rental store and watched hundreds (or even thousands?) of horror-, splatter- and sci-fi-movies. I think it was this early contact with mythical creatures and the 24/7 consumption of all kinds of creepy stuff that nourished my inherent interest for the mystical, the occult and the dark.

you can check out the rest of this series here.