Sarah Pabst – Reclusive


Sarah Pabst


“And in the end, we were all just humans… drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

When we met we were immediately drawn to each other, but we didn’t have an easy start. There was love and passion, but also addiction and pain. Out of an inner need I turned the camera to what was close to me, to have something to hold on to if things threatened to fall apart. So I started photographing us, him, me and what surrounds us — intuitive moments I felt the need to capture. I tried to find out who he is and who I am. We are afraid of the darkness in us, but, “in love the dark confirms that we are together“ (John Berger).

Sexuality becomes an affirmation of life itself. In nature I find my way back to my childhood self — to memories mixed with happiness and doubt. Upon these memories, 12000 km away from my native country, I try to build the future. Nature turns into a gleam of hope, a happy outcome of troubled times. This imagery is my journey, my intimate diary as I search for the answers to the vertigo of everyday life and the torments of my heart and soul. It’s about my life, my feelings, about us.

Because, in the end, we are all just full of hope to put back together those broken pieces.




Sarah Pabst is a German-born (1984) documentary photographer and painter and lives since 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Besides her personal intimate work she mainly focusses on women and identity topics. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was awarded with the 3. Prize in the ‘Women in Society’ Category of the Picture of the Year (POY) LATAM 2015, the Canon Profifoto Förderpreis (Grant) in 2014 and her work was published in Vice, Lensculture, Le Monde Diplomatique, Profifoto, Burndiary, Zeit Online, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Revista Pecado, Brigitte Young Miss, Deutsche Welle and the Max Planck Journal, among others. She’s a featured Instagram photographer since 2015. From 2012-2015 she worked as an adjunct lecturer for photography at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany, where she also writes her doctoral thesis on Documentary Photography in Argentina. After university she continued her education in workshops and courses with Antoine d’Agata, Leo Liberman, Mariana Maggio, Christian Rodriguez, Nicolas Janowski and Carlos Bosch. She is currently working on her first self-published book and took workshops on photobooks with Gonzalo Golpe, Julieta Escardó and recently with Veronica Fieras of Riot Books and Martin Bollati. Sarah studied Spanish, Painting and Photography in Germany at the Universities of Köln and Wuppertal and graduated in 2011. In 2005 she travelled to Latin America for the first time which was a turning point in her life. She went back to the continent many times and started photographing social issues in 2006.

Related links

Sarah Pabst


7 Responses to “Sarah Pabst – Reclusive”

  • Very nice images and as far as I’m concerned the artist statement fits nice and tight with the images. I’ve seen this essay published somewhere else, can’t recall where. However this edit is so much tighter makes the essay sing.

  • Really dreamy.

  • Yes, very dreamy. Exceptional self-portrait.

  • I agree with Paul on the congruence of the artist’s statement and the images. There is emotional impact and it all hangs together. I also like mixing color and black and white. And I like the idea of sequencing by “poetic impact” rather than by a narrative or story.

    Yet I have a tough time reaching a conclusion. One thing that bothers me is that the images don’t work as well without the statement. Maybe that’s just me, but I prefer a photo essay to stand entirely on it’s, with just title and the images. The best way I can express my reaction to the essay is to say that I get a feeling of self-indulgence — but maybe that’s not fair. Also, I feel that the next-to-last shot looks trite in the context of the rest.

  • Mitch, I think if you take the word, “recluse” and then just look at the images without the captions, it works pretty good. As to your basic philosophy, that’s what is often said about movies: a good movie can tell the story with just the moving images – no words or sound necessary. And it’s often true. If you turn off the sound on a good movie you can generally get the basic story. But words and sound can certainly add extra dimension, make the experience more fulfilling and increase your knowledge and understanding.

  • Very powerful and poetic work! Congratulations Sarah!

  • @Paul, @Harry, @Frostfrog and @FingaB, thank you so much for your kind words!! Glad you liked my work!

    @Mitch, thank you for your comment. I agree that photos have to work without a text. On my own website, the text comes after the series. But I also think that there are many examples where titles, texts and/or captions add another dimension as @Frostfrog says.

    Thank you all for commenting, feedback is always great to receive. And thanks to Burnmagazine for the publication!!

Comments are currently closed.