In this week's course activity, I was asked to share an interview with an artist I find interesting and in some way influencing my own practice. I thought it is a good opportunity to come back to Laura Letinsky's works and a couple of interviews with her available online.
She is one of those artists whose works are not affected by trends and demands, similarly to Uta Barth about whom I wrote a couple of weeks ago. There is always something new I see in her works even though the subjects, colours, light and compositions seem to be so repetitive. Each of her compositions has its little punctum which makes those seemingly banal compositions so strong and evokcative.
In the interview with Brian Sholis, she talks about the ineffable character of some aspects of the production process which I so much identify with:
"I want to keep the images on a precipice but it’s not one I can easily explain with words. Artists are increasingly encouraged to be able to explain their working processes, and yet it’s a nonverbal intelligence that often leads you to make a decision.(...)Some of the decisions I make in the studio are very conscious, and I use words to think about them. But when I make pictures I also do a lot of “grunting”—“ooh”s and expletives included; I use a kind of visual thinking that just can’t be articulated."
This is so true. Some decisions are just happening without any plan, the same way sounds flow in musical improvisations. Out of curiosity I looked at the definition:
"Musical improvisation (also known as musical extemporization) is the creative activity of immediate ("in the moment") musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians." (Wikipedia)
Without the references to music, this words would be perfectly accurate to describe what is happening when I compose my images in a collaboration with camera and the screen display.
The performance of perception and emotions in the state of flow.
- Interview with Laura Letinsky, Aperture January 31st, 2013: https://aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky/
- Musical improvisation definition by Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_improvisation
Interview with Laura Letinsky, The Photographer's gallery: //vimeo.com/57683797