Pan & The Dream - The Emperor's New Clothes
Los Angeles Review of Books Interview by Michael Kurcfeld
Professional Photography, Text by Kathrine Anker
American SuburbX, Text by Brad Feuerhelm
Christies: Artist Nadav Kander Studio Visit
Dust Artist Interview, Flowers Gallery , London
The Strait Times, Text by Deepika Shetty
Dust Interview, Studio International
Dust Review - haunting and painterly. Text by Sean O'Hagan
The Guardian, Text by Jonathan Jones
Nadav Kander Interviewed by William Avedon
Road to 2012: Aiming High, National Portrait Gallery, London
The Observer Magazine, Text by Sandy Nairne
A Conversation with Nadav Kander by Jorg Colberg
The Guardian, Text by Sean O'Hagan
Color Magazine, Text by Helmut Werb
Portfolio Magazine, Text by Simon Baker
Yangtze, The Long River Interview by Lens Culture
Hot Shoe, Interview by Bill Kouwenhoven
Prix Pictet Announcement
Nadav Kander in collaboration with the Royal College of Art
The Financial Times, Text by Francis Hodgson
Miedzy Nami Magazine, Interview By Jakub Mielnik
Miedzy Nami Magazine, Interview By Jakub Mielnik

Is Melancholy Beautiful?
I’m interested in how man affects his surroundings, what is left behind often tells us more about ourselves than if we were present – says one of the world’s pre–eminent contemporary photographers Nadav Kander.

What brought you to Chernobyl?
I’ve always been keen on portraying people through the things they leave behind. The Chernobyl project portrays this in quite a poignant way. I photographed the city of Pripyat, whose 40,000 inhabitants, many workers at the Chernobyl Plant were controversially evacuated after the explosion had contaminated the area with radiation. The people had no idea when they’d be allowed to return, but the majority believed that some day they would. Pripyat remains unsafe for habitation and will be for centuries to come. I witnessed a place that was forgotten, and yet replete with things testifying to the fact that people had lived there.

This isn’t the only work where you allow the products of our civilisation, such as overlapping flyovers or multi–storey golf courses, to speak for us. Is this the mark of the human condition in the modern world?
It’s certainly one way of showing it. In my works, emptiness is a matter of creation, what I do is try and create a melancholic atmosphere. I’m not interested in the natural state, I’m interested in man’s interference with nature. For me there is a serenity to be found in the melancholy.

So, are you a melancholy artist?
My melancholy is the result of a perspective I adopt as a photographer. I try not to display too much engagement with the subjects I photograph, I remain detached, watching the scene from the outside. I think this detachment helps to create a tension to my work. My last book, ‘Beauty’s Nothing’ challenged traditional stereotypes of beauty, prompting us to question everyday surroundings.

It included, among others, nude shots of older women, empty parking lots and hotel rooms. That’s some way away from common conceptions of beauty.
What is commonly perceived of as beautiful is not interesting to me. It is the unconventional and uneasy side of the human condition that is really fascinating.

Perceptions of Beauty are subject to constant change. One could well imagine the Chernobyl photos being used in an ad campaign.
Yes and no. Art, artists and their ideas are now much more broadly available to the average western household. Doubtless, this changes the viewer’s attitude and helps develop a visual sensibility. People are becoming more open towards less obvious definitions of beauty. However, when I think of the advertising photographs that I have been able to take over the past five years, I begin to wonder. Advertising suffered greatly as a result of recent world events and in search of positive images to counterbalance the atmosphere these engendered, advertisers have often plumped for predictability over intriguing work.

One of your recent projects is entitled ‘The Parade’. You peep through windows at people in their homes, doing whatever it is they do every evening. In Poland, capturing such scenes would have been impossible. After dark everybody draws curtains.
In the UK it’s pretty much the same. A short while after these shots were taken, the curtains were drawn. I went back a number of times to find the right moment. I usually had around a quarter of an hour in which I could make the work. Then came the curtains and private lives became private once again.

Some photos suggest that the inhabitants realized they were being watched.
It’s very quiet there, so perhaps people simply noticed an unfamiliar car, somebody even called the police. But I don’t think they were aware of being photographed.

You observe people living in the vicinity of Dungeness nuclear power plant in southeast England. The connection with Chernobyl is no coincidence, is it?
Both projects are linked by their proximity to a Nuclear Power Station. I visited Chernobyl to mark its 20th anniversary, photographing the deserted spaces in what was once a model Soviet City. The apartments, schools and hospitals are stark reminders of past lives, leaving a disturbing sense of quiet. An uneasiness that I had never previously experienced. The Parade is a quiet coastal road in South East England. Stretching for approximately 2 miles, the 150 or so houses that line one side of the road all share views of the sea from the front, whilst from behind they are overshadowed by Dungeness, the oldest Nuclear Power Station in England.  Contained within the seemingly private space of their own homes, we watch people performing domestic actions that are not remarkable, nor individual but similar and universal. 

In other words, a world before and after a catastrophe?
In a way yes, you are able to draw parallels between the two, the Parade images alluding to what would have once been experienced in Pripyat.

You were born in Israel, grew up in South Africa. Yet, for years you’ve lived in London. What brought you to Europe?
I wanted to move to Europe ever since I first visited London with my family. I grew up in a house with a huge garden that I would only leave in a car. Narrow, crowded streets were a novelty for a boy from a suburb in Johannesburg. I would slip out of the hotel and onto the street, just to revel in the anonymity of the throng. Upon completing obligatory military service in South Africa I immediately moved to London.

So, Africa is the root of your fascination with human–less civilisation?
No. I’ve just always been attracted to peripheries. I was born in Israel and grew up in a British–Jewish family in South Africa. I’ve lived in England for over 20 years, but I don’t think I will ever completely be accepted as British, perhaps this feeling of being slightly unsettled does come through in my pictures and the subjects I choose to focus on.

You are now preparing a book on China. What’s in it?
Most photographs depict people within the environment.

Besieged by the economic boom?
Exactly. I follow the route of the Yangtze River; more people live along its banks than live in the USA and Canada combined. China is a country that is catching up with the west in every imaginable way, hurtling forward at an astounding pace. Change affects the majority of the Chinese in one way or another, but in contrast to my country or yours, people bare little responsibility for the manner in which the country is transforming. History also bares witness to the fact that the Chinese have never been permitted to shape their personal existence, and today, too, they are excluded. Travelling there I felt a strong sense of their personal insignificance juxtaposed with the grandness of ideas. That’s what the book is about.

I recall China a few years back. Journalists and photographers had a hard time working there. Has this changed?
In many respects, no. Not knowing the language it’s difficult to react to what’s happening around you. You are ceaselessly at the mercy of a translator, who hails from a different culture and is unwilling or unable to explain everything you want to know. However I have managed to get things done and it’s an interesting experience, learning different things about the culture every time. For me, China is an important place. That’s why I keep returning, it’s been four times now I think. The China project is a continuation of my previous quests, the country is a striking example of how man affects his surrounding’s.

And what he leaves behind speaks volumes about himself. Have your reached any conclusions after spending time in China?
The role of art is to pose questions, not provide answers. Answers are less interesting, so don’t count on any conclusions. I stick to posing questions, which I myself could never answer.