The legendary LC-A is back at it again, this time enchanting NYC-based DJ, producer and artist Luka Tacon and inspiring him to create an immersive body of work during a life changing road trip with his father.
Wallplay & Lomography are proud to present Luka Tacon: On The Road With The Wolf, a multimedia installation curated by Katherine Phipps. Inspired by the road trip Tacon took with his father in August, "On The Road With The Wolf" presents a series of film photographs paired with an edited audio component, all of which were captured throughout the journey. Drawing on the traditions of documentary photography—and more specifically the photojournalism within the American road trip context that grew popular after the second World War, paved by photographers like Dorthea Lange and Walker Evans—Tacon’s multidisciplinary show explores new ways of documenting and sharing how redefining these legendary road trips can be.
How did your father get named "The Wolf"? Has that name impacted the way you view your father?
Ha, well... My cousin gave him the name because of the resemblance between my dad and Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. My cousin and I had just got the grill going one 4th of July and just as we put the meat on, my dad casually strolled over and commandeered the grill without a word. My dad is a very practical guy, driven by common sense, and always has a solution to any predicament, thats how I always saw him, so when the name came, it was just too perfect!
How do you incorporate the visual experience along with your music in your sets as both a DJ and musician?
Usually by creating a stimulating environment for the music to be experienced. If you do it right, make it special and unique, you can create a place where people feel free and unencumbered by giving them a brief reprieve from the traditional spaces that we find ourselves in everyday.
Why did you chose the Lomo LC-A specifically for this project? How did shooting with the Lomo LC-A impact your road-trip experience?
I chose the LC-A because it was the best camera I could get my hands on at the time. It's durable and versatile and easy to use. The quality of the pictures is impressive even for an amateur such as myself. I felt I could be more creative with my shots knowing that there was a good chance I could convey the message in an artistic way with the camera.
In most of your photos you are behind the camera shooting "The Wolf", has your experience shooting him and your journeys changed your artistic process in any way?
You know I had never done something like this before, so yeah it definitely had an impact. Documenting every moment of a journey is quite a profound experience, capturing each situation and the energy of that particular time is difficult, let alone doing it with someone whom you're so close with. It opened my eyes to a whole different part of artistic expression I never knew about which has been exciting. Music is my main medium, it's similar in a way that you're creating something from the ground up, but with photography you have much less to work with in that, once you've captured the image, you have a very strict boundary of manipulation. So on the road, I tried to give my self as broad a brush as I could find so I would be able to have some choices in post production.
Are there specific landscapes that you recall that were poignant to your memories on the road?
Yes absolutely. The sunsets! And one in particular on the last day of our trip. We had spent about 40 hours in the truck together and we were entering the last leg of the journey, coming thru some mountains near the Washington border. The sky was radiant pink and it blasted the bare mountains with color. It was astonishing and I was doing my best to get some interesting shots. My dad, with his IPhone was also trying to get pictures, while driving... We got into a shouting match because I asked him not to use his phone while driving, and he said he "couldn't resist because it was too beautiful and he had to indulge his creative impulse."
Were there any specific father and son moments that you encountered that are memorable to you to this day? If so, how has the Lomo LC-A helped you capture those moments?
Honestly, and I don't say this as a cop out, but really the whole thing. Every moment. The conversations, the quiet times, singing along to Bob Dylan, taking pictures, eating at shitty roadside restaurants, waking up in hotels in the middle of nowhere, all of it. We were aware that what we were doing was special so we were just very cool about it and tried to enjoy every moment and I'll cherish that ride forever.
Can you talk us a little bit about the self portrait you took with your dad in the bathroom?
A few days before we left I had the chance to go see the Daniel Lyons exhibit at the Whitney in New York and I was captivated by his work. It seemed so effortless but at the same time incredibly poignant and visceral. There was a photo of the photographer and his friend in the bathroom in a similar manner that came rushing back to me as I stepped out of the way so my dad could brush his teeth in one of the hotel bathrooms. I ran to get my camera and caught him just as he finished.
What is one picture from this trip that you can say epitomes what this project is about?
I think the photo of my dad looking into the sunset in the drivers seat. It was a wild moment in which we were screaming at each other and in that moment I caught him with a child-like enthusiasm in his face as he took in the natural beauty of the road.
Would you consider the landscapes in this work just as important to this project, as much as your father is?
Yeah I would. On the road, if the world outside the truck is boring and static, it has an effect on the energy inside and on the overall feeling. Just like the weather on a cold, wet Monday when you don't want to get out of bed. So when we came across these beautiful or interesting landscapes it almost dictated our moods. When combing thru all the audio I recorded, and I recorded everything, I can't tell you how often we commented on our surroundings, like little kids seeing the world for the first time.