Berlin-based Greek artist Spyros Rennt is launching his new book “Corporeal”. As Rennt’s third self-published book, “Corporeal” features 150 new photographs from experiences and observations of different communities. On the queer community, the underground club scene and sometimes intertwined; the observation Rennt made is not from an outsider perspective, but as a part of these groups. The content of the images is personal and ranges from tender to raw, and sometime humor can also be seen. The relationships he recorded are in the public sphere as well as in private: on club dance floors and in bedrooms, on beaches and in hotel rooms.


On the occasion of his book launch, which will take place in Milan’s LGBT-specialized bookstore Libreria Antigone on July 13th, 2023, CAP 74024 invites Spyros Rennt for a talk, sharing stories about his creativity life in Berlin, the inspiration behind his photography, and his perspective on the relationship between intimacy and human bodies.

Hi Spyros, how are you?

Exhausted but happy, as I am preparing for the Milan launch of my new book Corporeal! It’s full on summer (finally!) in Berlin, it’s bright until 10pm, friends from abroad are visiting and at the same time it’s a busy time between commissions and promoting the book. But Berlin summer is usually like that, hot, ecstatic and sticky!


Tell us a bit about the project “Corporeal”

It’s my third book of photos, covering the period from 2020 to early 2023. Intimacy, community, erotica, underground spaces are themes and concepts explored in the book intertwined with each other.


How long have you been based in Berlin?

I moved here in the start of the summer of 2011 – it’s crazy to think I’ve been here so long, watching the city (and myself with it) change the way it has, but I wouldn’t change my experiences for anything!


What do you think about Berlin? What has Berlin inspired you?

I don’t think I would have become a photographer had I not been living here. I moved here with an engineering degree, but that was clearly not meant to be. I figured out I wanted to be doing something creative and photography was somehow calling me. All this would not be possible if I was not exposed to a Berlin way of living in a city that used to be much more affordable than today, which gave people a chance to experiment without worrying too much about making ends meet. On top of that, you could meet a lot of like-minded people, which was in itself inspiring.

Body is a prominent subject in your work, why do you choose them as the main subject to shoot? What is the relationship between human bodies, your aesthetics and your photography?

I would say that the body is just one of my interests, photographically speaking. My new book tells various stories and the focus falls on various themes.


Intimacy, parties and revels are often seen in your work. What is the charm of these moments that make you want to capture?

I think that it’s important to say that this documentation is coming from the perspective of a queer person. I document my own experiences, but at the same time I am capturing a community and an era. The queer community and our way of life exists on a different plane often unseen from the mainstream world – with my work I aim to contribute to its visibility and also create a record of its existence for future generations.


According to curator Maia Kenney, hands are the first things she notices when she sees your photography. What about you? Which body parts will observe the first when looking at a human body?

I don’t think there’s a certain body part that I will look for in every person I meet, but some features that can fascinate me are the eyes, the eyebrows, the arms and the lips.

Berlin is known for the “Freikörperkultur (Naturism)”, and we can see some naked bodies in your pictures. What is nudity to you? Are they an important element in your creation?

I like photographing nudity, because I love the way our bodies look and it’s also beautiful seeing multiple naked bodies interact with each other on film – but I have grown into appreciating fashion as well


We also saw a lot of queer intimacy in your pictures. As one of the most welcoming and eclectic cities in Europe, Berlin is very acceptive to the queer community. What are your observations of the Berlin queer community? Why do you want to incorporate them into your photo series?

I have been documenting Berlin queer life since I started photography, around 2017 – because there’s nothing quite like it and I wanted to share my experiences with the world. The community can be hedonistic but also nurturing. I am grateful for the people who surround me, as they are a constant source of inspiration.


You are also in some of the photographs (if we didn’t mistake you with others) right? What is it like to bring yourself from the person who takes the photo to the person in front of the camera?

I think that if I’m going to be documenting people in intimate moments, it’s only fair to include myself in the mix as well! I am present in 3 images in the book and I selected these images because they fit well in the overall assortment of images.


What are your future projects and plans?

At the moment I am still very much focused on the promotion of the book and making the most out of Berlin summer, but interesting commissions are always showing up for me so I can never really complain. Will probably show up at the fashion weeks again in September – I skipped June’s shows because they coincided with Corporeal’s release but I’m ready for the fashion week craze again!

Spyros Rennt’s third self-publish book “Corporeal” is now out. Check his instagram and website for more information.

Cover designed by noted creative Marwan Kaabour (@ustaz_marwan) and the foreword text by Dutch curator Maia Kenney (@vagrantbaker)

Interview by Yves Tsou.