Saturday, 21 September 2013

K. Eleanor Bleier

Chicago, US
website flickr blog


I am guessing that most of the people on your pictures are your friends?

Yes, good buddies and good times. It's rare that I take a photo of something that isn't personal.

Does it ever feel like taking a huge ride on memory lane when you look through your photos? Do you get nostalgic?

How could I not?

What is freedom to you?

Trying to pinpoint that is like nailing Jell-O to a tree... Maybe it's that movie montage feeling; hand out of the window, surfing the wind with your palm, Rolling Stones playing on the radio kind of thing. I don't know. Just laughing.

Is there one thing that you can single out that you feel really hinders you from being creative? How do you deal with it?

I place a high value on my personal alone time. When I'm all holed up in my room, it can benefit me creatively for things like putting together a new zine or something similar. But my photos are of documentary nature, so if I'm not around friends, there's not as much to photograph, and that again hinders me. I'm not an antisocial or shy person, I just sometimes need to be alone. My friends and I always joke about 'French exit'-ing parties and shows, not saying bye to anyone, just dipping out. I'm good at that.

Is there an art form you admire but would not consider engaging in yourself?

There is a lot of stuff I admire a ton, but there isn't not much I wouldn't be down for trying. I'd love to learn different printmaking techniques... But wait, maybe tattooing, that's it. I used to think I wanted to do that when I was younger, but it's too much pressure. Too exacting. Bold permanent lines really aren't something I'm good at. A good tattooist is really admirable.

Do you like to make plans?

Very much. I always like to have things to look forward to. I had a really long conversation with one of my friends the other day that got me so hyped: it was about travel plans, things in general, everything. I make a lot of lists. The beginning of this summer, when I was still in Indiana, I had a pretty long running list of weird roadside shit to see - waterfalls, swimming holes etc. - and I managed to see most of the things on my to-do-list before I left.

Your favourite movies: do you like them because of the imagery or rather for the dialogues?

That's tricky. I'm a huge Coen Brothers fan as far as dialogue goes; I think their movies are like the cream of the crop when it comes to quick wit. But when it comes to movies, that whole 'That's when you know you found somebody really special - when you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence,' maybe that 'sensation' applies, too. I just like the feeling some movies put you in. Like that summer-going-into-fall feeling that's super strong when you're a kid. I'm working on a new book with Nighted right now called 'Down Home' and I want it to have the feeling of such a movie. All this kind of is like my answer for the freedom question, too, I guess.

What's your favourite way of traveling?

It depends on where I'm headed. I guess I do most of my travelling alone so I usually go by plane. I haven't driven a car in years (or any sort of vehicle until yesterday when I broke that streak with a riding tractor lawn mower at the farm I'm currently working at, it felt awesome whipping that around). I love long car trips with friends though, and everyone has always been really understanding about me not driving.

And how many cameras do you take with you normally?

Right now I have three on this trip, one disposable underwater camera, one Olympus stylus, and my Leica point and shoot, may it rest in peace. Last month I was being an idiot and took it to Sutro Baths in San Francisco. I climbed down onto the rocks and got drenched, the camera broke, and I can't stop whining about it. It was good I had the Olympus as backup. I'm not one to run multiple rolls in different cameras at a time, but it's a habit I should pick up: one camera for black and white, another camera for colour.

What do you do with photos that turn out "wrong", empty or under/overexposed etc.?

That happens all the time. When I'm broke I'll buy lots of expired film on Ebay and it's hit or miss, or I've had some weird cross processing experiences after my old photo place stopped doing E6. Almost all my photos from a trip to Ireland/Scotland this year are weirdly overexposed and saturated because of that. I'm an impatient girl, and should have just sent my film out instead of chancing it. I used to mess with the colour balance on Photoshop if I had a roll that was particularly expired or grainy, but I don't now. It feels impure. I'm sure I would mess with things more if I scanned my own film, but that's something I lack the patience for. It's not very DIY of me, but scanning film is like a heinous chore. I am willing to make my own butter, but not scan my own film.

Whose work are you following currently?

Tons, I get photo crushes all the time. Right now I'm following Alana Paterson. She's got the farm vibe going on, too, and I've read a few of her interviews and the way she answered one particular question made me go: YES, I could hang out with this girl'. I like Sandy Kim, Joe Skilton, Luke Byrne and Petra Collins. Oh, Man Freckles, too! I met him last month at the NIGHTED opening at Book & Job Gallery, and we both mutually were all like 'HEY it's you!' It's cool to meet people who shoot with a similar style, because you kind of have a window into their life and what they're up to already.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

milkwithtea magazine vol. 2

milkwithtea magazine vol. 2 is online!
You can view both vol.1 and vol. 2 here as well.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Chloe Newman

London, UK


The majority of your work consists of conceptual sets. What do you enjoy about working conceptually?

I actually just prefer to shoot images that come into my head. And then, once I've shot them and when I see the pictures together, they start to build the concept themselves. I'm very focused on the aesthetic of the image, so sometimes I find that if I over-think the concept I feel restricted in what I can photograph. I like to take a more subconscious approach to taking my photographs.

Could you explain further what is behind your projects "Something wrong", "Visual Conflicts" and "Black Tropicana"?

Something Wrong originally started with me looking at formalism and gradually entered the realms of the uncanny. With Visual Conflicts I was intrigued by surrealism within advertisements, and the tension between the disturbing and humorous elements within that. Black Tropicana was the most recent, I collaborated on the series with my fellow photographer Rebecca Scheinberg, we wanted to create almost another world, one that presents the irreal facade, critiquing a paradise devoid of the essence that makes it ideal. But I like all of my photographs to be quite open to interpretation; I find it a lot more interesting when people tell me what they think the work is about just from what they personally see in it, without my influence. Once my tutor told me she could see references to a vagina in the hamburger shot in Visual Conflicts which was ... different to hear!

Did your photography studies at the university change your work? If yes, how so?

I think my past two years studying at LCC has definitely had a good impact on my work. Before LCC I mainly shot black and white film and was still figuring out what I wanted to photograph, now I am really interested in colour and digital and have found more of my own niche photographically. I'd say the people have been a great influence, my class is pretty diverse in the range of work and they have really opened my eyes to different photographers that have helped shaped my work.

What are the things you gained and what are the things you lost along the way?

I gained a partner in crime! Rebecca, the photographer I collaborated with for Black Tropicana, and I have formed a creative duo called 'Newshine'. Black Tropicana is our first set of images but we are shooting soon to create more 'chapters' so keep an eye out for those! I think I've just gained confidence in shooting what I want to shoot, and taking criticism on board, but not letting it completely rule my practice. I wouldn't say I've lost anything, perhaps not shooting black and white as frequently, but I'm sure it will rear its head sometime in the future again, once my love affair with colour dies down...

What do you want to do after your studies?

I'd like to continue collaborating with ‘Newshine’ and create more weird and wacky images, perhaps look into cinematography further as I love films.

Is there an artist, young or old, that you admire?

Where do I start!? David Lynch is an all-time favourite of mine, I just find his use of ambiguity and mystery in his films very thought provoking and inspiring. I love Viviane Sassen's work, she has a really great distinctive style, I visited her retrospective in Amsterdam earlier this year and left so inspired by how the show was displayed. I suppose Quentin Tarantino and Nicolas Winding Refn currently are a strong influence for me with the colour palettes in the films Kill Bill and Only God Forgives.

Which galleries in London do you enjoy visiting yourself?

The Michael Hoppen Gallery always shows amazing visual photographers like Prager and Bourdin and I also like visiting the ICA, they have great talks and shows.

What are you working on this autumn/winter?

I'm currently shooting some new images with Rebecca for ‘Newshine’ that will be online soon, we will also be putting on an exhibition with four other photographers called A Tribute Act at Trinity Buoy Wharf from the 3rd -4th October showing the Black Tropicana images in an installation format which should be interesting! Then I'll start to work on my final year piece and dissertation, so it's going to be busy but I'm looking forward to it!

And where do you see yourself in, say, 5 years?

I'd like to be still taking photographs, but simultaneously trying my hand at cinematography, I'd also like to travel to a few different countries, too, like Sweden, Germany, or really exotic neon filled places for shooting images.

Image No. 4 belongs to the Project "Black Tropicana", a collaboration between Chloe Newman and Rebecca Scheinberg.

If you are in London mid-October, take a look at the exhibition ‘A Tribute Act’ where Chloe’s work will be exhibited, too.

A Tribute Act 
Exhibition: 3rd - 4th Oct 2013
Private View: 3rd 18:00-22:30
Location: Trinitiy Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Pl, London E14 0JY