What are you going to make?
I am going to make a photobook, consisting of collages of black and white analog images that I have shot on medium format.
How are you going to make it?
I am going to make it with two different approaches, first one, by printing photographs on transparent paper, cutting them down, bringing pieces together, painting on them with acrylic paint, with markers, or sometimes scratching some parts to make them invisible. This part of the process is going to be reversible as negatives are still safe. The second approach is going to be working directly on the negatives, which will have an outcome that cannot be reversed.
Why are you going to make it?
I want to work more on analog printing, which is actually something I am really new at. As I had a great joy making my first prints, I also noticed that it is merely the tip of the iceberg; there are many different ways of retouching, or manipulating an analog image and I want to work more on that, it is like an universe with unlimited new ways of doing things. The way you treat the photogenic paper, or the negatives have a great impact that you can see almost immediately on the outcome image. It feels magical, especially doing something manually, with my own hands, instead of creating something through a computer. I want to have images that were totally fashioned by myself, and I want to surpass my fears about the authenticity of the action I took, if it made it better or worst, but only doing. The relation between a subject, the lens, the film, the photosensitive paper, while everything is actually the journey of light through one of them to another, there are so many steps to intervene as the artist and to put something that belongs to you, in the image. So you have the journey of light, which is always on foot, moving, to at the end achieve a still image. It feels poetic, this contrast; the photograph is the motionless offspring of the artist’s movement and the light’s movement in this kinetic world.
Does it relate to other things you have done?
In some sense it does, even though I have never made any collages, I shoot a lot on 35mm, and I enjoy multilayered imagery. When an image conceals another image, at the same time it reveals something, something about the artist, and the way of their thinking while they were creating the images. Before, while making videos, several times I worked with different images on top of each other, but never considered them as moving collages. In my still images, I like to shoot subjects underwater or behind a showcase, someone looking through a mirror, as for me that is a way of revealing different layers. Now through a new format, or a new part of the format that I had no control over before (printing), I’ll explore a new universe.
How is it different to other things you have done?
I like to play it safe, I always save my projects when I’m working on a computer, make multiple back up files, have all the alternatives I had for a work stored in a file, if I have to get back to them. This time I won’t have any save files waiting for me to go back to. Apart from that, I almost always worked for on digital platforms, so working with my hands is going to be a different approach for me all the way. There will be loss of material at the end.
What are the most significant choices have you made?
Working on the negatives as it does not give you a way of returning to the original state. Once it is already cut, it can be taped, glued, but never going to be the whole it was again. Or once it is painted, it can’t be erased (usually, depending on the paint), this destroys all the safe zones, giving one shot, one direct, continuous shot that only has one way to go, and that way is forward. While working on a still image, having the idea of moving forward in the head is appealing to me. Film is a medium where the materials you are working on are more valuable than those in the digital, as they are not only ones and zeros but solid objects. This makes all the irreversible actions major and bold actions in a sense.