He loves the postwar architecture (preferably monumental), discovering the undiscovered (and then keep it a secret) and suffers (and gets over) vertigo – because in the end it’s the photo that counts. @mollorange.berlin rather belongs to the more quiet on Instagram – many of the photos get uploaded without any caption – and without a hint of the location – similarly secretive as @lindaberlin or @konaction. We met Karsten Knorr in Bulbul café Kreuzberg and talked in between arabic books, persian carpets and vintage furniture.
Are you from Berlin?
No, but I settled here, I am living in the city for 17 years now.
Karsten is unpretentious, down-to-earth and actually a family guy. His second child is underway and despite his own online business ‘Hanseheld’ he forces himself’s way for one day each week just to take photos – successfully so far. His account holds painting-like abstract compositions made of concrete and pastel, and poetic city trees, beautiful ugly corners, genuine 70s colour palettes – and much above the horizon like for instance dirty yellow against the steel blue Berlin sky.
Have you been this kind of a child, that was holding its first cam at the age of 5?
No, I just experimented with my mum’s video camera. I owned my first camera in 2001 – and took a lot of photos just for myself. Since 2015 I am actively using Instagram.
@mollorange.berlin’s vita is fortunately not at all straight – with 20 he wanted to become a musician (that’s when the name mollorange appeared first, which literally means – minor orange), resigned sociology and philosophy studies and then graduating in media informatics. Until today there is that slight sociological interest driving him – just look at the empty fascades, deserted fast food trailers, windows covered with curtains… and all the other cheerful tristesse he captures.
Why do you take photos of the ‘ugly’?
I simply love the architecture from the 1960s to the 1980s, and especially the higher blocs – Bruno Taut (famous for his 1920’s social housing projects) is too cute for me. I prefer taking photos of Berlin’s periphery. Wedding is very cool with all these satellite dishes, missing corner houses, backyards and the harbour.
At the moment he is interested in a quarter called “Schwarzwaldviertel” (literally Black Forest quarter), but he is also very fond of Märkisches Viertel (one of the biggest 70s building projects in Berlin with over 17 000 flats for 50 000 inhabitants). One day he flew return to Copenhagen for a photo tour without family. When he is taking photos from very high bulidings, with his vertigo, “it’s like one metre far away from the barrier – the photo is more important than my fear” he says self-mocking – another great quality of @mollorange.berlin.