Marina Richter prefers to understand her work as an 'open source project'. She belongs to the new generation of photographers greedy for freedom and experimentation. Her art is an outlet for her feelings. By refuting the 'vain glory' of art, Marina Richter discloses through her work a meta-narrative that links people to the ordinary things that surround them. 
Marina Ritcher had the courage to quit her job in Berlin. She left her glass bubble to become what she felt she had to. When flipping through her photos, it's easy to feel her sentimental narrative. Her pictures are the small pieces of her life which, once assembled, make visible the poetry of our everyday.
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There are so many small parts of your life disseminated through your work, what's your story, Marina Richter?
My story was written before photography. After school, education, study, several jobs and internships I went to my new job in Berlin. I experienced heartbreak; everything looked fine, but I felt awful! I was lost, empty, sad and tired. I realized my life needed to go full speed forward- I needed to leave, go wherever, anywhere. I wanted to sleep forever! I needed my space, comfort, a ‘real’ job- I had become a robot. I wanted to make art, but also needed a career and monetary stability. As I see it, it is impossible to produce art besides a normal job. When I left the ‘glass factory’, the job in Berlin, I looked into my real interests and needs. Gradually I made the decision to work for myself. Google says that plants attract insects or repel dangers with oils. My photography is like this oil – it attracts the good things and repels dangerous ones.
You tend to capture everything that crosses your path – just like a child getting his first camera. When did you first encounter photography? 
This is because anything can make a good photograph! I started photography several times. I learnt how to take the photographs and how to set the lights and how to develop the rolls, but I never found the passion. When I was taught photography, my energy died. Forced education can kill the creative spirit. Learning by doing was more motivating. I had to explore my own way of photographing. I was given a message by a therapist once: Leave the 'Have to' and think about the 'What you want'! To understand and live by this message was the best thing I have ever done, but also the hardest. I had to find a beginning.
It is difficult to know how your work is meant to be read, what is the meaning behind it, etc.?
Yes, the method of presenting my work is an experiment. I create my own artistic ABC, and the viewer is invited to look at the progress. To create my own visual utopia is a life goal. I am more interested in the beauty of raw sketches than the finished results. To give this insight into a working space takes the barrier away from ‘normal people’ and ‘alienated or intellectual artists’. I don't need to create a myth around my art. My art should be the opposite of elitist: more an open source project. To hide my progress and regress and not to offload my sketches would mean not to exist.
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On your Instagram, you call it a Visual Diary. What would you like to keep as memories in your diary?
Not exactly memories but more a collection of formally enlightening pictures. “Forever is composed of nows,” said Emily Dickinson. These ‘nows’ are the thousands of moments we have to live in, to handle, and to reflect on. With photography, I decided to stop working ‘for forever’. Photographs are linked with some moments without showing them directly. It is almost impossible to translate a moment into a picture. Photography has its own rules and reality is her enemy. Some photographs can become triggers for nows, moments, feelings. A word is so near, and pictures are so far away. Sometimes I overcome that distance with manipulation, but I prefer to be the objective sponge and let the camera work. Reality comes in, and then the selection process reveals whats relevant. Subjectivity is important for the selection afterwards. This is the process by where I form my art. You must move through a lot of dirt to find the right pictures.
 Your photos are full of melancholy – is this a feeling you want to explore or cherish?
I don't need to cherish melancholy because it's in my blood. Through photography, I create a new space for new feelings. I can leave melancholy behind. Somehow the camera seems to put it into the photographs, perhaps it is so much in me, that I can't erase it. Melancholy started to overwhelm me as a teenager and has never left since. I have also recognized that melancholy is hidden. It is a disturber. But everything has to go on, and nobody can afford depression or melancholy. There is no space for it. I am glad that my photographs are full of it because it is reality. In my darkest times, I was happy to have my camera.
How would you define your approach to photography?
I would like to save the world with photography if I could. For me, photography means so much. It is rescue, self-determination, self-confidence, strength, independence. With my art, I have reached for the stars and found magic. I finally ‘work’ as free as I can, my work goes on and flows. Photography is more of a journey than a result. Every detour is welcome. The end is open.
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What camera do you use? Do you see photography as work?
My first camera was a compact camera. I had very serious intentions with photography but needed to look like a tourist rather than a professional photographer, to avoid others eyes on me- this made me feel free. It was a vulnerable time. I needed a camera which made a good tool and didn't make a tool out of me. High tech equipment is more of a burden than a support. I see photography as my new way of working. But if you define work as the thing which brings in the money, then I don't ‘work’. There lies the problem. Quantity means time; time means leisure. Leisure is the opposite of being money-driven. Art is motivated by love. Art is unbelievably important but not financially backed up. I work for it every day. To live like this means to fight for money from institutions. I get the minimum money, and this means giving up a lot. I learnt that leading institutions prefer a dead soul on a job more than a vivid artist. To bring in the money is the most important. To not fall back to normality, how I was before, is a challenge... There is no solution yet.
We often say that a good photographer is someone with an eye – how did you get this ‘eye’?
I don’t have the eye. It is a big compliment if somebody say’s “you’ve got the eye”. But it is not true because it would be like you have that special gift. People often think that artists are born as artists, I don’t think so. My eyes are nothing but nearsighted, and at the beginning of photography, my eyes were tired and sad. Photography is work like everything else. There is more than one way to get a good photograph. I prefer the wild and stormy way. In any case, you need a tonne of photos to get to the point. For me, it is a passion. And my eyes are not better than they were in the beginning. I just know better what I want and don't fight that much with the waste I can produce. No waste, no success!
“My pictures are silent” I found this little sentence so relevant when it came to your artwork... Tell me more about it. 
This was my answer to another interview. I was asked about if there was a soundtrack for my photographs, what would it be. I recognized that there was no music. I like tones and voices, and I like the birds singing. But I love the spoken word more than speech; a dialogue gives me more than music. I like film music which can support the picture. But music without visuals is hard (disability). My moments with the camera are silent, and photographs let time speak and places sing.
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What would you like the viewer to feel when looking at your photos?
Thinking about this question makes me sad. We are all so different, and I have no influence on how a viewer would look at my work. A viewer can leave my work alone or take it home. Art is both. We need to handle the hellos and the goodbyes. Life is both. Suffering and Happiness. Photography is both: light and shadow.
Can you share with me three reasons why you do photography? 
I prefer to be a human instead of a robot. I prefer to do what I love. (I prefer to be visible.) Everyone is important.
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