A conversation with Barbara Lehnhoff


    We spoke with Barbara Lehnhoff about unfettered wilderness, imaginary animals and the magical properties of nature.

    I miss the magic of feeling like I’m in a very vast atmosphere, where nature has control of all my surroundings.


    Julien Fernandez

    You grew up in the wild, freezing landscape in Northern Canada. How did an environment of wildness and barrenness influence your childhood?

    Barbara Lehnhoff

    I mostly played in the bush. My favorite game was to take a leap into one spot and imagine that I am the first person in the history of the Earth to have ever set foot on that very spot. It’s like walking on the moon.


    Do you miss your upbringing? Do you feel like you could ever return to it?

    I miss the magic of feeling like I’m in a very vast atmosphere, where nature has control of all my surroundings.

    But I go back home once a year, to recharge. I think somewhere in my mind I’m certain I will eventually go back for good.


    Most people like to make a family tree to explain their ancestry. I’m more interested in a graph, chart…anything that’s different. Can you sketch something for us that illustrates how each member of your family influenced you?

    From L-R: Mom, brother, Pap.

    I can’t even count how many houses, cars, sailboats and disasters my father built.


    I understand that you love to read instructional manuals. What would the manual of Barbara contain?

    It would likely be a print edition that’s impossible to read linearly. One of those manuals that you have to go back to every time you find yourself in difficulty. With lots of short chapters. Filled with typos, with no small print and a very solid, accurate index.


    How would you describe yourself strictly as a human, without citing your musical or video work?

    A rational dreamer.


    I’ve heard your father is an intriguing character. Tell us all about him, please!

    My father is an inventor, a 78-year-old little boy. A beautiful mind and a terrible father at the same time. His name is Wulf. He fled from Germany to Canada in the ’70s in seek of a land without limits. He picked up my mother, who was hitchhiking, and they built a fishing and hunting camp called Canadian Wilderness Camps.

    He’s an authentic project person – he always has something in mind and in hand. I can’t even count how many houses, cars, sailboats and disasters he built. He’s the most inspiring person I’ve ever known.

    The kebab slithers in the forest with neither a head nor tail.


    Do you think there are magical properties in the natural world? Can you explain your knowledge of that subject?

    Of course there are, it’s what makes nature wild and keeps us surprised. I don’t know much about it, but I believe it controls all forms of life on Earth and so I trust in it. I’m almost certain it has to do with the stars. I wish I could explain more, but I don’t think anyone can.


    Your video work is mostly music videos or short films. Would you like to make a documentary at any point? If so, what would be the subject?

    I’ve always wanted to make a fake documentary on an animal called kebab.

    It slithers in the forest with neither a head nor tail.


    You spend much of your time playing music and shooting videos with your partner, Aris. How do you split time between your personal life and creative pursuits?

    We don’t. It’s actually become an issue. But having a partner and accomplice like Aris by my side is definitely vital for what we do. We compensate each other in every way – this is our strength.


    What’s your favorite room in your house? Can you snap a photo of it completely clean, and also as a total mess?

    My carpenter’s table in the kitchen.


    Can you take a small silent video of your home, commute, or work environment?

    Thank you.


    Conversation: 4
    Curated by: Julien Fernandez
    Conducted by: Email
    Published: June 21, 2017
    Total questions: 11
    Word count: 650
    Reading time: Three minutes
    Hyperlinks: 3
    Imagery: 3
    Videos: 1


    Carpenter’s tables: 1
    Fake documentaries: 1


    About the subject

    Barbara Lehnhoff is a member of musical projects Peter Kernel and Camilla Sparksss.

    About the curator

    Julien Fernandez was born in Mayenne, France in 1976. He currently lives and works in Pescara, Italy with his wife, two kids and a dog, Lenny. He is captivated by structural relations between objects, animal behavior, contagion and magic, and is currently working on a mechanism that would classify mental images in the physical world. He also designs and envisions the day-to-day architecture of North of the Internet.

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