Lisa Marie Dahlke / IZAIO
shot in Berlin on Nov. 13th, 2015 / published on Mar. 14th, 2016
On our last day in Berlin last year we had been graced some sunshine in the morning, but come the afternoon we were back to the standard grey of the colder days. The melancholy of its Winter is probably the price for all the stunning little wonders you'll find here. Luckily, we had a lovely meeting with Lisa Marie and could engage in a conversation about something we both love: books! And about art in its many facets, about learning new languages, and about the sparkle of being a ginger... Enjoy this new feature!
Lisa Marie, thank you for meeting us in Berlin, taking us on a tour along your jogging route and getting us to discover some new spots, too. Though originally from Frankfurt, you are by now a Berliner at heart. Is this city still surprising you?
Berlin is still surprising me each and every day. I discover new, fantastic places all the time, even in my little Prenzlauer Berg Kiez, just around the next corner, like this little petting farm. Every area has its own atmosphere and charm. In Berlin you can be how and whatever you want and reinvent yourself whenever you want, something I would have never imagined back in Frankfurt. It never stopped and hopefully will never stop surprising me.
Berlin is known for its discrepancy between Summer and Winter, it seems to change its colours and vibes completely. Are you more a Summer or a Winter person? Or rather just go with the seasons?
A Summer person. Definitely. Every make-up artist can probably witness this. When it gets cold, I'll arrive at every shoot with a deep red nose, sniffing into tissues all the time. I'm sorry, everybody! But going with the seasons could be nice too, provided that I am able to wrap myself up in thousands of blankets in Winter.
You are currently studying German, East Asian cultures, and learning Chinese. Although it sounds pretty time consuming, what is most exciting about your studies of a language and culture so structurally different and far from your own?
What excites me the most is that this language and culture is so different from every other I know, in every imaginable way. Do you know that moment, after starting learning a language from scratch and putting all this effort in it, when you realize that all of a sudden you're starting to understand people? I love that moment and that is pretty much the most fun part of it all. And then we shouldn't forget how many people in this world speak Chinese and how it is getting more and more important. Plus you should see the faces of people asking me about my studies when they hear I'm learning Chinese – that's priceless!
We happen to share a passion for books and since we know the impact of the written word first hand, we dare ask: Which book had the biggest influence in your life?
This is probably the most difficult question I have ever been asked. These past few years most of my life have centred on books – how could I ever pick just one? Even if it sounds very cliché, it was definitely Goethe who ignited my passion for classical literature. His Erotica Romana, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust impressed me so much in my younger years, that I traveled on his trail from his birth house in Frankfurt to Leipzig, Weimar and Rome. Today, my love goes to Hermann Hesse, Kafka and the poetry of Rilke, my very favourite author. I guess they all influence my own style of writing, too. Oh and I shall not forget the heart... Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being taught me everything about love.
Beside being a passionate reader, you have been a ballerina, classically trained in point-work, but had to quit due to a foot injury. How much has ballet shaped your personality and the way you relate to your body?
I think classical ballet training turned me into the artistic person I consider myself to be today. I know I am probably not the best dancer, painter, musician or writer but I love all of it and I guess dancing ballet for so many years just brought me to love and appreciate all kinds of arts. It taught me to feel art from fingertips to toes, in every muscle and movement. It taught me the consciousness of every tiny muscle in my body and the ability to tense it. Ballet gave me this deep awareness for my body, my posture and body tension. I know my body really well and this helps in my job as a model – a lot of my clients will eventually notice my dancing past during shoots. And I get goosebumps every time I hear ballet barre music, I really miss dancing!
Dance is often described as a language where movements are acts of communication. And communication is key to all arts. Being an artistic person, have you found your medium of choice?
My being an artistic person is closely linked to my childhood and my educational background, too. I enjoyed an early musical education even before taking piano lessons, which I have been playing for over ten years and then swapped for guitar. I attended an art school and have been playing theatre for many years, and then of course there was dancing. So I guess, I just can't help but love the arts. Ever since studying German literature, I have been writing for myself, mostly poetry and some prose. And even if I'm not such a talented writer, I love it from the bottom of my heart and would call it my favourite medium of all.
We both had a little contribution in the third issue of MC1R, the magazine for redheads. There is probably nothing comparable for blondes or dark haired people out there, which makes gingers once again one of a kind. Is there a sort of ginger way of life? What's being a ginger to you?
Being a ginger to me is being cheeky, original and polarising. I often have the impression that ginger models give editorials this special touch because of these attributes. I'm so happy that there is a magazine like MC1R just for us redheads! Gingers unite, there are not many of us left!
Playing wishful thinking, your ideal paradise would be...
I could talk about peace, religious, political and sexual freedom here, but I guess we are all aware of what is happening in our world at the moment. Instead I just want to quote Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges: “I always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” I really like this thought.