This is Photography? Maybe. ANDREW MIKSYS ON LOOKING AT PHOTOS
Photographers & Inter views
MIXT PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW Opening Reception Saturday, March 14 March 14â&#x20AC;&#x201C;April 4 studio e Gallery 609 Brandon Street, Seattle, WA studioegallery.org More photographer and show information at facebook.com/mixtmag
Cover art: Lukasz Wierzbowski
When some friends approached me to curate a group photography show for their new gallery, I hesitated a mere moment. Daydreamed group shows whizzed through my mind, my only question was, which should I start with. I immediately turned to social media, primarily Flickr, where I have been curating thematic groups for the past couple of years. Having followed many photographers of many genres on this platform, I decided on a selection whose work falls into fashion, lifestyle, mundane, topography and even abstract, hence the name MIXT. MIXT has refined into a collection of experimental European contemporaries whose thread of commonality is their focus on the ordinary and mundane and who have a keen awareness—whether consciously or culturally influenced—for early 20th century European art styles, especially Surrealism and Modernism. The influence of Dada and Surrealism are embodied in scenes of everyday aspects of the human experience, both personal and social. Photographs juxtaposing realities— extremeness and subtleness, innocence and worldliness—are softened with a palette of nail polish, foliage, pastels and subtle glamor. The role of geometry and minimized visual composition has its roots in Cubism, Suprematism, Constructivism and De Stijl. These modernist movements extend beyond the use of basic geometry, as even emotions are abstracted and compartmentalized along with their surroundings. MIXT is a vibrant set—colorful, geometrical, and dynamic. The purist and poetic works document a youthful spirit and life at the moment of capture.
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4–7 8–11 12–15 16–19 20–23 24–27 28–31 32–35 36–39 40–43 44–47
Ada Hamza Can Dagarslani Eylül Aslan Gaia Boni Harald Wawrzyniak Ina Niehoff Lukasz Wierzbowski Marina Richter Maurice Van Es Sasa Stucin Tyrone Williams
Andrew Miksys The first photography book I bought was William Eggleston’s Guide. I was just taking a beginning photography course and went on a trip to New York with some friends. We ended up at MOMA (perhaps my first time at MOMA) and I found Eggleston’s book in the museum bookstore. There was a stack of the first edition books for the original price of $14. Flipping thought the pages I couldn’t understand anything. Zero. This is photography? Maybe. Whatever. I have to have this book! Carrie Mae Weems was my photography teacher. I remember she talked about Eggleston in class. But there was no satisfactory way for anyone to explain this book to me in words. I just kept flipping through the pages mesmerized. At eighteen years old art seems to seep into you, it’s a sensual experience not requiring many words or even a lot of discussion. As you get older such experiences are less common and a new artwork or photo book
is in competition with all your life experiences plus all the photographs you’ve taken yourself. But once I opened Eggleston’s Guide and saw the very first picture of a flower basket hanging on someone’s grey front door, I was toast and never saw anything the same way again. Seismic sift. This is the most boring fucking photograph. No, wait, this the best photograph I’ve ever seen. It didn’t matter. If this stupid door can be a photograph, then everything has potential. Everything is interesting. I suppose in some ways this sounds like the description of numerous Instagram, Facebook or even Flickr photographers posting 20 photographs a day. They also think everything they see is interesting and worthy of photographing. But I honestly don’t understand all the fear of these platforms or doom and gloom that they’ve ruined photography by adding millions of new photographs to the world daily. These are the people that
don’t believe in democratic and populist roots of photography anyway. There have been tons of images ever since Kodak invented the Brownie over 100 years ago. Nothing new. More importantly, some of our best photographers never went to art school and don’t have MFAs. Is photography easy? Absolutely not. It takes a very long time and many bad photographs before you find your own voice, if ever. In truth, almost anyone can take an interesting photograph from time to time. The trick is getting as series of photographs to work together and speak with one voice. This is where you have to dig deep and unemotionally remove photographs that aren’t moving your project forward. But if you keep looking and observing, you just might get there and have something unique and individual to show the world.
Andrew Miksys is from Seattle, but has been living in Lithuania for the last 15 years. The first edition of his book, DISKO (2013) is now out of print. A second edition will be available starting April 15th. Order a copy of DISKO and view more of Andrewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s projects at www.andrewmiksys.com
AdaHamza Interview by Maurice Van Es
If you had to choose one song that can be played so the whole world can hear it at the same time, which song would that be? Erik Satie Gnossienne
Can you describe the latest dream you can remember? I had a dream of spending a nice time with my mother and I remember coming up with an expression, MUMENT . Like a mum and a moment together.
This is your oldest photo I could find on your Flickr, you took it in France, July 2010. What are the first five words that pop up in your mind when you look at it? What is a photograph for you? Selfish and inalienable right to express myself with no need to justify and explain it.
I took this photo at the Croatian coastline in July of 2010 and the words that pop up in my mind are:
innocence, ignorance, playfulness, optimism and courage. 6
Can Dagarslani Interview by Gaia Boni
Why do you often represent same two girls together? The series are basically based on the models’ postures and gestures, creating symmetrical compositions in one-point perspective. The two bodies merge into one, unique and extraordinary yet weirdly natural identity.
Do you make photos with an analog camera? If so, tell us a bit about why you’re so passionate about that. Yes i take pictures only with analogue camera. When you’re looking through the lens, you don’t need any regulation. I prefer to let my subconscious takes over me and reflects introspective elements. That’s what I feel whenever I shoot film. When I grab a digital camera, it controls me more than I do. That’s the reason people shoot thousand of senseless photos per a set.
Do you have a favorite film director? My hidden interest for Jean-Luc Godard is the key aspect that defining my style. People can easily perceive desire of depicting humanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inner sensation by using expressive colours and natural light. In what way photography represents yourself? Being an architect who is living the office life, I felt a need to discover a different way of viewing the world. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how I started to be interested in photography. Nothing has ever belonged to me like photography. The subjectivity of it motivated me to take photos and that brought me here. I feel so lucky to be able to move away from the stress of architecture through such an exciting reason.
In your opinion: what is the relationship between photography and architecture? I can easily say that the architectural forms and materials had a great influence on me. It helps me to create a more personal and deeper spaces for the scenes. And the cinematographic silhouette of the cities I have lived in and traveled to is the main reason I grabbed a camera on the first place.
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es t goal for the y ear? I guess I would lov e to finally ha solo show ve my .
What is your earliest childhood memory? My first childhood memory: I was eleven months, and I played in a box made of gummy colored mats. I remember softness, joy and desire to play. Who is your favorite fictional character? Oh, difficult question ... maybe my favorite character of the books is Mrs. Saeki in Kafka on the Shore, Murakamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book. Instead, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have one favorite character of the film, but I love Francesca, in The Bridges of Madison County and Evey Hammond, in V for Vendetta. If you had power to turn into an animal at any given moment what would it be? I think I would turn me into a hind. 16
Ga ia B o n i Interview by Lukasz Wierzbowski
What’s the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to you? I believe that the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to me is discover art.
If it wasn’t for photography what else would would you do for living? I’m still a student but I’d like to become a photographer!
Dreams or reality? I dream a different reality.
Interview by Marina Richter er
What is weakening to your practice with photography & what brings your photography in full strength? Sometimes it’s quite weaken to totally escape from everyday life. Depends on how much i’m having a so called “free time” because i’m working as an electrician for livelihood. It’s not checkable to switch in a creative mode after work, but if… i guess, my photography goes fluently in full strength. Also… to reach its full strength i found out for myself that i’m needing this thin walk on the line of worker and artist.
What is your approach with photography? (A negative one & a positive one) A big positive and patient approach in my analogue photography is this great process of knowing that on this film will be a great capture. After development and scan it’s always a flashback and a new conversation starts between me and the photograph. A negative one was not realizing this process…
How much difference is there between the work you make & the work you desire? There’s no difference… i’m just doing work i like to desire. That’s the great part of having a “normal” job. Making art in a way of knowing you have to do it for your living bread would totally blockade my creativity. Never tried but… i guess.
How does money is influence your work? I never thought about money and it didn’t influenced my work even once. It never will. Sure it’s nice to get a kind of reward for your passion but this was never the plan.
Ina Niehoff Interview by Harald Wawrzyniak
Who are you? My name is Ina, I am a German photographer, currently based in Berlin. And I found a lemon in the sea. Five years ago in Melbourne.
How did you discover photography and what makes you keep on doing it? I can’t really tell how I did discover photography. It just happened naturally. I got my first camera at a very young age and on all family holiday trips it was me capturing the moments instead of my parents. I enjoyed it ever since. It keeps me alive and reminds me to always observe my surrounding. I can’t handle not taking photos. It’s just the most unaffected thing to do.
What purpose does your photography serve? I am not sure, if I can tell this. I would like to leave this up to the viewer. But saying it out loud very naively, what it means to me: maybe a positive and excited view on details in life. In my photographic work I concentrate on visual observations of everyday life phenomena, our natural environment and human reactions on life, landscapes and space. The earth is a bizarre and wonderful place, full of curiosities and beauty. I am captivated to see the world that we build up, the images we as humans create and nothing makes me happier than capturing these traces that we leave - our landscapes. Beside those man-made objects, accidentally sculptures, moments of human life, I can’t help myself being totally overwhelmed by the pure beauty of nature and it’s constant change that influences our emotions and memories. 24
What’s your camera choice? I do have a lot of different cameras. I love all my Contax cameras, my Nikon F3 and sometimes also my Mamiya RB67. Now and then you can still find a mju II in my pocket.
What project are you working on at the moment? I am working on a book that I am going to publish with Paralaxe Editions this summer. I’ve taken photos in South East Asia at the end of last year. Now it’s the time to think and edit and design.
I love your selection! I would like to know the story behind the picture with the red dress. What you see in this photograph is actually my own sleepshirt that I was throwing on the laundry basket before taking a shower in the morning. I am the biggest fan of white-red-(striped) patterns, so this was something I had to take a photo of! This is maybe one of the few of my staged photos, but staged by accident.
Can you explain the feelings you have while you are taking photos?
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A feeling of total flow as I let myself get lost in the present moment. Each situation and place time is filled with endless possibilities, each moment shines with small gems of models attitude, light and colors. I cherish each of that moments by trying to use in an active way fueled by mindfulness and joy.
Why do you think you and I are so close friends even though we have not spent not that much time together... how do you explain that? Do you think photography connects us? I think Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a true mutual connection, something way beyond photography. I love the way you see reality, the
possibilities it gives and how sensible and true your vision is. Besides you are a great human being, kind, generous and honest with strong independent voice which you are not afraid to express.
the deep hole. As it turned out I didn’t wake but instead It was still a dream within a dream. It was a bit scary but also fascinating.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a photographer? If you had a pizzeria one day, what would you name it? Reality bites
Tell me the strangest dream you have ever had (if you remember it)? One time I woke quite exhausted after a night of intense crazy dreams with a feeling of relief trying to remember pieces of what happened. I dressed up and decided to leave my room and soon as I opened the doors I have fallen into
Meeting new people, exchanging thoughts and emotions, getting to know each other and becoming a part of each others’ systems. Before I started taking photos I never realized how much we actually are connected. I’m always grateful to whoever shares its universe with me and in return I share my reality. I’m trying to put these pieces of a huge puzzle called life together and my camera lens is my guide.
What do your photographs represent to you? They represent more a research and process than fixed results or a clear defined art piece. They are characterized more by own motivation than external guidelines and every new day they could have adopted a new role. Either they have lost their appeal over night or they have gained significance or presence. Personally they represent more than a viewer probably ever could decrypt: My moving from the big “Must Do” to the cute “Want To”. My photographs are my companions somehow on an exciting journey, called art sometimes.
What moment is right for you to take a photograph? The moments of taking a photograph can be situated between a talk and a visit to the bathroom or be in-between the cycling to work and the first talk of the day. All of my photographs are in-betweener: in-between the spectacular; in-between two eye-catching moments; in-between all and nothing. They stay as far away from the “photogenic” as possible, without loosing a specific fascination.
You often experiment with the presentation and pairing of your images, how does this process start for you?
Marina Richter Interview by Tyrone Williams
This came with my decision for an early stage publishing. The publishing platform “Flickr” made it possible but offered a very static layout only. While uploading my files there, I recognized, where my motivation is based: I was going to explore that the gap between two paired photographs was the most fascinating thing and that analyzing those gaps was the most interesting task. The flow between the photographs is more important than to bring a single image to perfection. I explore this again and again and could go deeper and deeper. Perhaps I am going to build bridges one day. :) 33
Looking at your photographs I feel as if I am viewing emotions/thoughts shown as complex abstractions. What areas in your life affect your photos the most? The camera doesn´t care about my themes or the people I love. Photography can be very uncompromising. Actually I would like to catch photographs from the ugly, the disappointed ones and about the things in the shades. But they are just not enough photogenic. But nevertheless I love the camera as a tool. I take many many pictures in a lots of areas and select those ones which are linked to a relevant personal theme or which are able to reveal an inner significance. Every photo can be occupied by fears, hurdles, social restraints but also with beauty, hope and loss and sex. I avoid to put make-up on my areas and don´t set models into them.
Is there anything particular you are trying to achieve through your photographs? At the beginning my biggest wish was to “get” a book or a vernissage. But I am definitely not a person who enjoys deadlines or vernissages. Monetary guided people or monetary disadvantaged people don´t possess their time anymore. And so my photography is about the recapture of time and about the financial regress, which comes with it. I would like to achieve, that my photographs get a viewer´s time and attention and their money. Or the money of a big boss out there who wants to support the non-monetary areas of life. A little bit “unconditional money” would be great. 34
Maurice Van Es
Is there any factor like stress, fears or happiness that influence you during your creating process?
Interview by Can Dagarslani
I feel very blessed making work, defining myself, is the only thing I have to do in life. I don’t have so much fear or stress, it’s very simple: If I get touch by what I make, I put it out there, then I don’t even mind what someone else could think. 37
Do you have an addiction to the colours in your work? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also about using flash what makes these colours. By using flash, colors look different than in reality. More vivid. I love the act of using flash, you give an object so much light, it has never had that much light before.
Why do you take photographs? My work itself will answer that question. 38
How often do you dream, and do you clearly remember them when you wake up? Could you tell us one that means a lot to you? Love dreaming. Love the moment before being asleep and looking forward to dream.
Can you recommend some good sources about anything you like for learning more about your taste? Yes, watch Caves of Forgotten Dreams from Werner Herzog, listen to Morrissey and read Szymborska. 39
How would you describe your photographs to a blind person?
Escalators in the city.
Sasa Stucin Interview by Ada Hamza
Sushi on the beach. Watermelons indoor. Marble Cakes. Skin. Desktop. Layers. Desert! My photographs are abbreviations of experiences and objects. I use a touristâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camera (small and compact that I can fit it in my pocket) and produce images of the same style, direct and naive. However I often furnish these environments with people and souvenirs of my own conception. Natural growths, atmospheres, tidal forces, are at odds contemporary brands, without abandoning beauty.
Lately you turned towards fashion photography. How does working for clients modify your approach to personal photography? I love creating scenarios and I get excited about things very easily! For me there is no difference between a pair of Prada boots and the rock I picked up from aside the road to photograph it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the context of things I am interested in, oppose to isolated objects. Past experiences and things we learned make our work look predictable and I want to challenge this with my fashion and personal photographs. I want people to reconsider things that have been around unchanged for a very long time and see them through new perspective. 40
Louis Vuitton for Pop Magazine
You moved from Slovenia to London. Do you think that change (and how) affects your work? I love Slovenia, but I find it a bit slow and sleepy for my taste. London drastically affected the way I work (and the speed). London is faster, bigger, more competitive. Second, being based in London, enable me to travel non-stop and that effects my work strongly. It’s often cheaper to spend weekend in Paris (or maybe this is something I would like to believe). I am working simultaneously in visual art, photography and object design. It’s no longer simply about the medium or single discipline and it seems in cities like London this has become not just widely accepted, but commonly present principle. Photography can consist as much of design, architecture, gastronomy etc. as one wants and I want to have freedom to stretch the “organs” of a medium I am working in.
Your favorite way of spending free time?
Daydreaming. Flipping through books. Eating cakes. Kissing my boyfriend. Going in a desert. Taking photographs.
Moi Aussi Paul for Miu Miu (with Kit Skurikhina and Bruno Osif)
Tyrone ss W illiam w by Inter vie ucin S a s a St
Describe your workspace. An organised mess, beautiful music and a view beside the window.
How do you start a new project and how do you know when to stop? I’m inspired by how I feel at a certain time. This will make me want to go out and take photographs. I try to reflect on how I feel through my photos. If I feel that I’ve expressed myself through the photographs I will then stop, so for me it’s intuitive.
It seems your images are often very cropped view on things. Is this how you see things? I like to keep my images simple, only keeping a few details. I will see things as a whole and then be drawn to a certain part of the subject, whatever speaks to loudest the to me. With a frame I love how you can determine the size of a subject.
The people you portray look like objects, nature and vegetation seem made of plastic: is it because you see everything as some kind of product? In the past I would try and to express the feelings surrounding the subject but as my awareness has developed through photography, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m now interested in what actually is, what is this reality we find ourselves in. I find the physical to be a representation of something much bigger. I want to deconstruct the life around me, showing a core.
Do you have a muse? Love and transcendence.
Andrew Miksys / Vilnius, Lithuania andrewmiksys.com Ada Hamza / Ljubljana, Slovenia adahamza.com Can Dagarslani / Istanbul, Turkey candagarslani.com behance.net/CanDagarslani flickr.com/photos/candagarslani email@example.com Eyl端l Aslan / Berlin, Germany septemberlion.com facebook.com/septemberlionness flickr.com/photos/yllparisienne aslaneylul.tumblr.com editionsdulic.com/products/trauerweide Gaia Boni / Crema (near Milan), Italy flickr.com/photos/etali Harald Wawrzyniak / Graz, Austria haraldwawrzyniak.com Ina Niehoff / Berlin, Germany inaniehoff.de inaniehoff.tumblr.com Lukasz Wierzbowski / Wroclaw, Poland lukaszwierzbowski.com editionsdulic.com/products/sequin-covered-swans-lukasz-wierzbowski Marina Richter / Saarbr端cken, Germany mranai.tumblr.com Maurice Van Es / Den Haag, Netherlands mauricevanes.nl roomsofnow.nl facebook.com/mauricevanes instagram.com/mauricevanes mauricevanes.tumblr.com Sasa Stucin / London, England sasastucin.com softbaroque.com Tyrone Williams / Northampton, England tyrone-williams.tumblr.com flickr.com/photos/tysty pogobooks.de/content/williams.html Netra Nei / Producer / Seattle, WA netranei.com firstname.lastname@example.org