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Max Siedentopf

Copying = bad.

The latest photography project by Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf looks into the concept of mimicking and replicating ideas. In an ironic twist, the final result is something wonderfully original.

Copying: the word implies a lack of authenticity, an inability to innovate. In the world of photography – and stretching across other creative fields –
T A B O O .


With his latest project ‘Same, Same But Different’ Max Siedentopf challenges this notion, questioning why we feel the need to re-invent the wheel in order to create something original. The project: over fifty photographers, three years and one simple concept. Send out an idea – in the form of a line drawing or a short phrase – and no two photographs you receive back will be the same.


Each idea is repeated, alike yet unique.


A man peeks out from behind a wall with a shoe on his head.


Captured by Michiel Meewis, it’s campy.


By Romain Sellier, creepy.


By Scandebergs, cool.

Every single starting point ripples out in a magnitude of colours, textures, styles and atmospheres.

Beginning as an enquiry into repetition, cloning and similarity, the project turns into an exposition of variation, individuality and idiosyncrasy. Siedentopf’s work depicts how originality lies not in what but how, encouraging reflection on the ways in which, once egos are set aside, copying may not be such a bad thing after all.