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Quarantine Q&A: Max Siedentopf, Riff Raff

Quarantine Q&A: Max Siedentopf, Riff Raff

Promonews - 1st May 2020

If it were possible, the prodigiously creative Max Siedentopf has been even more inspired since the Covid-19 crisis emerged...

He was quick off the mark with the Dada-esque Home Alone: A Survival Guide a few weeks ago. And in the past couple of weeks he has launched a very popular new crowd-sourcing initiative, So Far Sofa. The project aims to bring people from all around world together who are stuck at home on their sofas to build the longest sofa in the world. 

Just before that took off, we got in touch with Max to see how things were going in his London lockdown, with girlfriend Débora Silva (both above, work it out for yourselves).

What were you working on before the lockdown?
A campaign for Gucci, new photo series, exhibitions, I launched two new books called Same, Same But Different and TOILETPAPA and a series of videos.

However I recently decided to step down as creative director and partner from my agency to focus full time on directing, photography and my personal projects. Ironically my last day was also the first day of the lockdown, so in more than one way a big life change.

I have pretty strict hours when I work and when I won’t.

What are you working on now?
Since the lockdown has started it inspired quite a few ongoing projects that play off being stuck at home and currently in the midst of planning a new music video which will be shot next week. I think this is also a great moment to experiment with things that you usually don’t have the time or patience for.

What's the most surprising, or least predictable thing, that's happened to you during quarantine?
My girlfriend moving in with me. She’s the most fun person you could spend the Apocalypse with. We used this time to collaborate on a series of videos. Seeing as we’re not allowed to party at the moment, she scanned me and made me dance in the 4th dimension...

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What's the favourite part of your daily routine?
I recently started a new series called “Home Alone - A survival guide”. Each day I post a series of instructions on Instagram and ask my followers to interpret these. Waking up in the morning and seeing the crazy results is usually my favourite part: 

Are things getting harder/better/staying the same?
Depends on the time of day. In general I think it’s important that no matter how hard a situation is to keep looking forward and try and see how you can use it to your advantage. I think often the most creative solutions come when you’re faced with some kind of problem and with very little resources have to solve it. 

What have you learned about yourself during quarantine?
I can go approximately 4 weeks without going to the hairdresser.

Best meal you have eaten/are regularly cooking

More quarantine cooking inspiration here, here, here, here and here

Best thing you’ve heard, while on lockdown, and why?
Finally being able to hear the sound of birds in London.

And the worst…?
My neighbour’s constant zoom calls on his balcony.

How's your Work/Life balance at the moment?
I think it’s especially important when being stuck in the same place all day long to create as much 'variation' to your day and work/life balance as possible, otherwise you can easily lose yourself in a never-ending repetition of the same thing. I have pretty strict hours when I work and when I won’t, and I don’t look at any emails or clocks over the weekend.

• Max Siedentopf directs through Riff Raff Films in London, and is represented for music videos by Hands London.

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Promonews - 1st May 2020


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