Interview by Charlotte Davey, published in Dazed Digital
Hanania & Brunnquell: La Guerre du Feu
The photography duo play ‘good cop, bad cop’ with their models to provoke reactions.
DD: You’d already been working with Brunnquell?
Estelle Hanania: The collaboration started in the summer of 2008 in Berlin. I was invited to shoot a portfolio for a Swiss magazine, as was Christophe, so we decided to do something together. The day after Christophe arrived in Berlin we started an eight hour nonstop shoot. It was a great encounter and experience for the both of us, totally exciting, and, more than free, it was liberating, like a total break from our own works but still linked in many ways. It became an inspiring collaboration to feed my other stories. ‘Hanania & Brunnquell’ was born then.
DD: How do you find his working process?
Estelle Hanania: Christophe is a compulsive artist, always working on some drawings, sculptures and crazy pieces 24 hours a day, so regularly we gather and do photo sessions, one or two days in a row, sometimes three times in the same week.
DD: Are there themes you constantly return to?
Estelle Hanania: Masks, ambiguity, double meanings, efficiency, humour, pleasure, drawings, body, nude and violence.
DD: And you draw on these during your shoots?
Estelle Hanania: We have to be inspired by our models. Christophe often uses old portraits of the person to create masks or props in advance to use during the photoshoot. We create in our own bubble, we are three most of the time, but to sum up our process, it is: the bully, the victim and the witness
DD: And what is it that you hope to imprint in minds?
Estelle Hanania: Fear. And glee.