S I L V I A NO.6
COVER PHOTO BY MICHAEL SLEET
c o n t e n t s
NATALIE FOSS MICHAEL SLEET
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! Make sure to tell everyone you love them, even the people you have a mutual hatred toward to creep them out or piss them off. Because isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?
BLANCHE MINOZA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
gregory mcgrath-goudie 2
the thing about you and i is we’re more like one and less like two. so in their eyes when i’m reflected, all i really see is you
i am not complex i am too complex i am not too complex enough i am a unicorn with a snapped pointy thing i am a horse who wants to stab you with passion i am sun tzu hiding in a well contrived shell with no sneaky tactics i am working for the queen with hopes of pollinating flowers
BY BLANCHE MINOZA.
natalie foss is an artist from oslo, norway. her most used mediums are watercolor pencils with colored paper and cardboard. she likes that feeling when you discover something new, people who dare to walk a different path, and psychology and art mixed together. nataliefoss.co.uk
michael sleet ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS INTERVIEWED BY JOE CURTIN
Where are you from, and how long have you been taking photos? "I currently live in the southeast of England, not too far from the outskirts of London. I started taking photographs probably over three years ago now." We saw some recent photos from your trip to Las Vegas & The Grand Canyon (they were beautiful!). Do you travel often? Where is your favorite place that you've been to? "Thank you! I'd really love to travel more frequently. Many parts of America fascinate me, especially the West Coast, which I would love to road trip through in the future. Other remote areas in England and Scotland too. A couple of years ago I visited Monaco (although it was only for a day) but there were definitely some cool vibes there." Do you have a main source of inspiration? "Cinema will always be a constant influence. Light, weather, fleeting moments, the way
colours and shadows turn out on 35mm film. Various photographers and musicians, they're all kind of guiding lights in a way." What are some of your favorite movies? "American Beauty would probably be the one I always go back to. The underlying themes, cinematography, and soundtrack are very inspiring to me. Lost in Translation, Trainspotting, and anything by [Quentin] Tarantino are also favourites. Aside from photography, how do you usually spend your free time? "If I'm not shooting, then I'm either thinking about photography or doing things that may lead to an idea or feeling, that I then end up scribbling down somewhere so I don't forget." Tell us something about yourself that no one on the interwebs knows. "This is very uninteresting but I'm all about collecting photo books and
vinyls. I have neither a bookcase or a vinyl player." What feelings do you hope your photographs evoke in the viewer? "I think about this a lot. I'm very much interested in the balance between the documentation of a real moment, and something which lends itself to narrative. I guess I'm still figuring it all out but if anyone ever saw one of my photos and felt something, anything, then that's incredible." Do you have a favorite photo or memory? If so, why is it so important to you? "There isn't really a single photograph, but maybe several that I'm very fond of. They're reassuring if nothing else, to help keep me creating." How does the future look right now? "I plan to continue shooting more, to reach out to other artists and continue to network more. To travel, to experience more, to document it all."
You take awesome photos, a lot of which are 35mm film. How did you get into this medium of photography? "I shoot exclusively film! My initial exposure to photography as through black and white film. While I no longer work in the dark room regularly, I still love to shoot 35mm black and white, color, and polaroid film. However, I am really eager to get into more medium format, as well as video." Tell us a little bit about yourselfâ€“what you're studying, where you live, maybe a fact no one knows about you. "I am from Portland, Oregon, but I am currently attending Barnard College in New York City. Portland kicked me out because I was too intense, but in NYC I'm the resident hippy. I am learning all sorts of things, but I plan on pursuing writing and photography. Fun fact: I shit
myself on prom night (hasn't happened since)." What do you hope that people will feel when they look at your photos? "I want my photography to speak to many people and in different ways. For me, I want my photographs to be soaked in a feeling of beautiful solitude." What or who inspires you most? "I am inspired by my relationships with others. So much of photography is about the relationship between the photographer and the subject. I like to photograph people I care about." Complete this sentence: If I could photograph anyone or anything, I would photographâ€Ś "Ryan McGinley, serious and naked. I also want to travel to the canyons of Utah and photograph people brushing against the rusty red walls." In what way do yo hope your photography evolves as you change and evolve? "I hope my photographs continue to mature along with me. I
am working toward creating a distinct look. (I'll get back to you on what that's going to be!)" Any opinions on how social media sites, Instagram, etc. affect photography? Do you think photography has been strengthened or trivialized by the notion that "anyone can be a photographer"? "I'm not a huge fan of social media (I don't have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). That being said, I am really thankful for having platforms such as Flickr or Cargo Collective to show my work. So maybe I'm a hypocrite? I do think anyone can be a photographer, but I don't think everyone makes great work. Despite the cacophony of images on the Internet, I believe in the marketplace of ideas and in the concept that the best art will rise to the top." What song has been on repeat on your iPod lately? "'I'll Try Anything Once' by Julian Casablancas from The Strokes." How does the future look right now? "Too good."
denis How long have you taken photos? "I've been taking photos for two and a half years." Give us a brief look into your life - where do you live, what do you do for fun, etc. "I live in Moscow and work in advertising as a copywriter. I’m in love with cinema, photography and classic literature. Also I’m DJ - I play soulful house music, but not on a professional level." What do I do for fun? "Watch Adventure Time with my girlfriend. We adore it." What is something that you have always wanted to photograph but have not been able to? "Oh, that’s a wonderful question. I want to photograph all actresses who inspire me. It would be cool to take photos of Anna Mouglalis, Nicole Kidman, Tilda Swinton, etc." Why do you take photos? "Because I’m a dreamer. I love to dream about my own perfect
world, and I want to share those dreams. Cinema is best way to share your dreams - Wes Anderson shows his well. He creates his own dream, his own perfect world in films. But unfortunately cinema is too expensive. So at this moment I’ve chosen photography. It's another good way to share your dreams." What inspires you the most? "Girls, dreams, and cinema." Are your favorite photographs the ones that are planned, or the ones that simply capture a moment in life? Do you think those two types of photos evoke different feelings in the viewer? "I might be wrong, but I think that planned photographs mostly talk to your mind, while photographs that capture a moment mostly talk to your soul. I choose to capture moments, because then my photographs are alive - they can breathe, and I love it."
shitarev Tell us your favorite band right now. "Right now I’m listening to a lot of witch house music, but it’s hard to choose a favorite one. I love Glass Teeth, Black Ceiling, Crimes, Satanbeat, Sidewalks and Skeletons, Tess Conway, Chainless, and others." What is something you want people to think or feel when they look at your work? "When people see my photos, they often say, 'This is like a frame from a movie.' And I’m very glad to get such comments because I try to create not only photographs, but also mise-en-scenes. I want my photos to look like a part of a story that the viewer can think of and imagine what’s happened before and what would happen next. Also I want my photos to be alive, I want them to breathe." If you could photograph any place in the world, what place would it be? "I’m not sure that I’m
interested in places. I like histories, and histories couldn’t exist without people. And when I see a beautiful landscape, I want to put some human there because without humans the landscape is not interesting - I can’t imagine a story in that way. I guess it would be much better if I had physical freedom. Being able to fly, for example, or maybe being invisible. If I could fly, I could get pictures from alternative, not standard points of view. And if I was invisible, I could get truly natural pictures, because when someone is watching us, we act unnaturally. When people know that camera is watching them, they show what they want to. They play. But it’s far from reality." What do you have planned for the future? Will photography always be with you along the way? "I have a plan, but I will not share it if you don’t mind. And I guess yes: photography always will be with me."
nicole dollanganger What/who influences you and your musicâ€“ particularly your lyrics? "In terms of musical inspiration, there's a lot. I'm all over the place with that. But a few musicians that really stick out are Daniel Johnston and Marilyn Manson and Kurt Vile. Lyrical inspiration almost always comes from personal experiences I've had, whether good or bad. Using them in songs has become a way for me to preserve things I'm scared of losing. And I know I can't possess the people I love so it's nice to make something that I can keep of them in a sense." What role did music play in your childhood, if anything? "It played a big enough role. I'm told that when I was really young the only music I wanted to listen to was Creedence Clearwater Revival (I don't remember that) but when I got a little older, most of my friends were musicians and I think growing up watching them write and perform had a huge impact on me." Is there a certain emotion or feeling you want people to experience when listening to your songs? "Well, I think there this sense of shame
and weakness affiliated with sadness that can make it really hard to express how you feel to others. A lot of people pretend to be okay or happy when they're not and I think that can make them lonely and isolated. So if listening to my songs made someone feel less alone, that would be the greatest accomplishment."Â
One of my personal favorite songs is "nara dreamland." Are you talking about the actual theme park or is it symbolic of something else? "Kind of a mix of both. It is about Nara Dreamland, but it's also about what a place like that represents and how hard it can be to detach yourself from lifeless objects you've kind of given life to in your own way. I do that a lot with things. I'm pretty sentimental and possessive." What would your ideal holidays playlist consist of? "Strictly Elvis." What are you looking forward to in the following year? "I'm saving up money so that I can make my way through the United States and do some filming and writing in places I've always wanted to visit or revisit and I'm really excited about that." BY BLANCHE MINOZA
merry christmases WRITTEN BY JENNA B.
IT CONSUMES ME. I can go an entire year without thinking about it, but as soon as December rolls around it is all I can think of. There are a handful of family members that are no longer in my life; I have been to exactly two funerals. Yet death is what is on my mind at Christmastime. Winter is my favorite season; I love decorating for Christmas more than anything. But there are people I won’t see sitting beside the tree this year or any year to come. I try not to dwell on the morbidity that clouds my mind every holiday season and instead wrap gifts and decorate the tree and hang Christmas-y bunting all over my house. I could write a stereotypical elementary style “favorite Christmas memory” piece, but my favorite memory is a compilation of every Christmas evening spent at my grandparents’ house. Those evenings have ceased to exist and in fact ended the year my grandmother passed away, when I was in the fourth grade. Weighed down with gifts, my siblings and parents and I would waltz into the kitchen and allow the aromas of Christmas dinner to overtake us. Over time you lose your memories of people and it pains me to not be able to remember if my grandmother was a good cook. In my imagination, she was. She knew how to cook just about anything and when recipes didn’t turn out, she wouldn’t make like me and sink to the floor with flushed, tearstained cheeks. I remember how my family would crowd into my grandparents’ tiny ranch home. Half of us would sprawl out in their living room – their toy poodle darting around to each of us and shoving her little pink nose into our ears. I have to smile just thinking about that snuffling little dog. I miss her just as much as my grandparents, since the dog lived with me for a few years after my grandfather’s passing. It was impossible to fit twelve of us into that dining room. The adults griped and swore about it every year. It was a feat that could never be achieved – no way, no how. But my ever-resourceful grandma added a few card tables to the end of her mahogany table and we would gather around the table by order of age. I was always placed at the end with my younger cousins and was often stuck with the challenge of feeding the youngest. My grandparents always sat side-by-side. They were so in love, but not openly affectionate; no one in my family really expressed affection in front of one another.
But you could see the love in their eyes and the way they smiled at each other – like they were always engaged in some secret conversation. Ralph and Carol were my first exposure to true love – to a happily ever after. Even at nine years old, I knew I would be holding out my entire life for a love like theirs. " I adored spending Christmas at their house, with the warmth of their wood-burning stove wrapping you in a cozy embrace and the always-present smell of wood. They lived on acres upon acres of land; the forest behind their house felt like a mountain to me. My brother and I could spend hours out there – chasing squirrels and tracking deer. And we loved to sled down their enormous hill – gliding at incredible speeds until the impact of snowsuits against a pine tree stopped us. We would then trudge back up with sweat beading on our upper lips and go again. And again and again. Opening gifts later in the evening was the best. The twelve of us – brothers, sisters, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins – crowded into the living room, sharing couch cushions and spots on the rug. It’s often said that extended family members don’t always know what a quality gift is for their grandkids and nieces and nephews. Our family was no different; we always settled for exchanging money and gift cards, but every once in a while someone would go out on a limb and gift the occasional Transformers toy. But the biggest treat of the night was listening to my grandfather make sarcastic comments with that toy poodle snoring on his lap. It was listening to him purposely mix up my and my siblings’ names – with that silly grin on his face when the chorus of Grandpaaaaa’s erupted. At the end of the night, we went our separate ways. There were always a few tears from the younger cousins, but mostly hugs and kisses on the cheeks and thank you’s and promises to call when we got home safely. Driving home in the dark, all the kids would fall asleep with full tummies and fuzzy hearts. There is nothing I miss more on December 25th than my grandparents. I did not get enough time with them; I never got to know the woman that everyone says I am so much like. But somehow Christmas is still my favorite holiday, because for as much sadness as a person has had in their life – ‘tis the season to be happy 33 and thankful.
(TOP TO BOTTOM)
SILVIA contributors sh moments from th
THIS IS A PHOTO FROM JANUARY OF THE VIEW FROM MY UNCLE’S HOUSE IN THE PHILIPPINES. I ALWAYS HATED GOING TO THE PHILIPPINES WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, BUT NOW I WISH I COULD GO EVERY YEAR. TIME FELT LIKE IT WAS MOVING SLOWER WHILE I WAS THERE. UNFORTUNATELY I GOT AN EXCRUCIATING SUNBURN THAT’S GUARANTEED ME SKIN CANCER, AND I CAME BACK WITH A PEELING FACE THAT MADE ME LOOK LIKE I HAD VITILIGO. —BLANCHE
I TOOK THIS PHOTO IN AMALFI, ITALY ON MY BIRTHDAY, JULY 3RD. I SPENT TWO WEEKS IN ITALY OVER THE SUMMER, AND IT WAS THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE I’VE EVER BEEN. ON MY BIRTHDAY, MY MOM, BROTHER, SISTER, AND I TRAVELED ALONG THE AMALFI COAST AND STOPPED AT LITTLE TOWNS ALONG THE WAY. IN AMALFI I BOUGHT AN UNDERWATER DISPOSABLE AND SWAM OUT INTO THE OCEAN WITH MY SISTER AND TOOK THIS. —JOE
PARAMORE HAS BEEN MY FAVORITE BAND SINCE JUNIOR HIGH, AND I WAS FINALLY ABLE TO SEE THEM LIVE. THIS NIGHT IN NOVEMBER WAS THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE, AND THERE IS NO WAY I’LL EVER FORGET IT. —JENNA
LAST AUGUST, MY BEST FRIEND AND I WENT TO THE LAKE TAHOE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW. THE GUY AT CONCESSIONS WAS REALLY ATTRACTIVE. THE PLAY ITSELF, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM SET IN THE 60S, WAS PHENOMENAL. DURING INTERMISSION WE RAN DOWN TO THE BEACH AND LOOKED AT THE MOON. —BLANCHE
THIS GOES DOWN AS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS DURING MY FIRST SEMESTER IN COLLEGE. IT WAS POURING RAIN, AND IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES I HUNG OUT WITH MARIA, WHO IS IN THE PICTURE, AND CELESTE, WHO TOOK THE PHOTO. THE TWO OF THEM ARE ROOMMATES, AND NOW THEY ARE TWO OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS AT SCHOOL. —JOE
i couldn’t think of a better name sorry
hare their favorite is past year THIS HAS BECOME MY MOTTO FOR THE PAST YEAR. I HAVE LIVED EVERY DAY DECIDING TO TAKE CHANCES. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LET LIFE HAPPEN, AND IT’S AMAZING HOW MUCH MORE FUN THAT IS! —JENNA
JUST A BEAUTIFUL DAY WITH BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE AT MY FAVORITE PLACE, THE BEACH. WE ORDERED PIZZA AND WATCHED THE SUNSET AND JUMPED THROUGH THE WAVES AS THE SUN WENT BELOW THE HORIZON. —JOE
ONLY ONE OF MANY INCREDIBLE CONCERTS ATTENDED THIS SEMESTER, BUT DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MOST FUN OF THE BUNCH. I DANCED MY ASS OFF FOR TWO STRAIGHT HOURS. —JOE
TWO OF MY FRIENDS AND I WENT TO SEE STARFUCKER AT THE REGENCY IN SAN FRANCISCO. THERE WERE PEOPLE IN COSTUMES DANCING ON STAGE AND BALLOONS FLYING EVERYWHERE. ONE OF MY FRIENDS HAD HEARD AT ANOTHER MUSIC FESTIVAL THAT TWO FANS GAVE THE BAND THEIR PHONE NUMBER AND GOT TO HANG OUT WITH THEM AFTER A SHOW, SO SHE WROTE HER NUMBER ON POSTER BOARD AND WE THREW IT ON STAGE. SHAWN (WHO PLAYS BASS) PICKED IT UP AT ONE POINT AND SHOWED IT TO THE CROWD BEFORE HE PUT IT BACK DOWN AND SOMEONE AT THE BARRIER TOOK IT. MY FRIEND KEPT GETTING CALLS AND TEXTS ASKING HER “IS THIS STARFUCKER?” AFTERWARD. —BLANCHE
I WENT TO SEE THE GREAT GATSBY WITH MY BEST FRIEND AT THE TIME, AND OUR FRIENDSHIP HAS SINCE FIZZLED OUT. I KEPT THE TICKET STUB OUT OF RESPECT FOR OUR FRIENDSHIP. —JENNA
THIS WAS BY FAR THE GREATEST DAY OF SUMMER. A FRIEND OF MINE HAS A BIG PROPERTY BY THE BEACH IN MALIBU AND WAS HAVING A PARTY. A FEW FRIENDS AND I HUNG OUT AROUND MALIBU ALL DAY, GOING TO THE BEACH, SWIMMING IN HER POOL, GETTING DRINKS AND FOOD FOR THE PARTY. IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, ABOUT EIGHT OF US WERE IN THE POOL, AND ONE OF MY FRIENDS TOOK HER TOP OFF AND SCREAMED “FUCK BATHING SUITS!!!” EVENTUALLY EVERYONE WAS BUTT NAKED RUNNING AROUND, AND I TOOK THIS OF MY FRIEND MORGAN ON THE TRAMPOLINE. LATER IN THE NIGHT, AFTER THE PARTY, WE STAYED TILL 4 AM NAKED IN THE JACUZZI, FELL ASLEEP OUTSIDE, AND WOKE UP TO THE SUNRISE. —JOE
BLANCHE AND I WENT TO THE FIRST NIGHT OF LIVE 105’S NOT SO SILENT NIGHT, ALONG WITH OUR OTHER FRIEND, KHRISTIAN. IT WAS THE BEST WORST CONCERT EVER. —ELYSE
I REALLY, REALLY LIKE A BOY. WE’VE BEEN TALKING FOR QUITE SOME TIME, BUT WE’VE ONLY GONE ON TWO DATES. EVEN THOUGH WE HAVEN’T BEEN IN EACH OTHER’S LIVES FOR A VERY LONG TIME, I CAN FEEL A STRONG CONNECTION GROWING. (ERES ESPECIAL MEANS “YOU ARE SPECIAL” IN SPANISH.) —JOE
FOLLOW SILVIA MAGAZINE 37