Photographer Soledad Córdoba is an artist from head to toe, who enjoys the whole process of analog photography, from the shooting to the emotion and the uncertainty of waiting for the development. Soledad represents the woman in her own skin, and considers that she creates self-portraits that however move away from a self-referential function and are more of a starting point towards the representation of women as a universal being. She also tells us about one of her projects – "Resistencia" – that invites you to think about whether resistance is the basis of existence.
Hello, welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Could you introduce yourself to the community?
I'm Soledad Córdoba, I was born in Avilés (Asturias) on September 15th, 1977. Since I was little I've always had artistic concerns and something inside me told me that I had to be an artist. One of my first approaches to photography was when at the age of ten my grandparents gave me a camera that they bought in one of their travels, and I was very happy with it. Also, it was very exciting to go pick up the photographs from the photo lab... The magic of taking the pictures out of the envelope, examining them, revealing what was hidden in the silvers... Now I see that my desire of saving moments and storing memories was hidden in that emotion and uncertainty of waiting for the result. Photography is much more than collecting times, I consider it as a tool to tell stories, to reflect and, above all, to throw questions in the air.
How did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
As I have always said, I was sure that I wanted to dedicate myself to art, I did not know in which medium, whether painting, drawing, sculpture or photography, but there was no doubt that I wanted to dedicate myself to the art of creating. During my school days, the subject of arts made me happy because I felt comfortable in my environment. That's why I focused my studies in Fine Arts and then I felt fulfilled, full of energy, with a thousand things to tell. And the best part was to discover, study and research the artists throughout the history. In that sense, I could build an imaginary about the starting phase. I must admit that I was impressed and influenced by the work of the artists of the performative scene of the sixties and seventies, where body, identity and emotions were the basis of their works. They – Ana Mendieta, Carolee Schneemann, Gina Pane or Rebecca Horn – were my mentors. The moment I saw their works, my vision of art changed, it was not only a means to create things and tell something, but a powerful place where you can reflect, expose, denounce, suggest, move and, why not, a place to resist, claim and fight.
You have a very particular style, it seems that you want to create a new reality through your art. Is this the case? How would you define your style?
I have always been interested in creating new realities, it does not mean that reality does not interest me, but through the work I can transcend reality and I think that it is something fantastic, very few things can achieve this and art is one of them. So for me it is exciting to work with this powerful tool, to tell things that transcend everyday life while remaining in it. Regarding the style, I tend towards the poetic image, the hidden message between the lines, the evocation, the non-explicit. There is a silent, tenacious and rigorous work of abstraction. And above all I look for the clear simplicity, telling a lot with very little.
When we discovered your work, we discovered that women had a crucial meaning in it. Could you tell us a bit more about it?
The women that appear in my work are all represented by me. They are self-portraits without a self-referential intention. For this, I leave my body as a means and support of the work, that is, through different actions and representations this body exposes all possible bodies. That is why this self-portrait is always more Her than Me. As an artist, I create from my experience and from everything that comes to me, touches me or challenges me. That's why in my work the main subject is the woman as a universal being.
Also, there is a criticism of society, for example, in your work "Resistencia". Could you tell us a little about this particular project?
RESISTENCIA is part of an enormous broader project that I am currently carrying out thanks to a "Leonardo Scholarship for Researchers and Cultural Creators 2017 of the BBVA Foundation", in which I talk about the states of the soul. RESISTENCIA is one of five other states I investigate. In fact, I conceive this research as a transit to immerse myself in the broad meanings of the human soul. In itself, each of the states can be understood as attitudes, positions, motivations… and even offerings that involve possible ways of understanding existence. All this from a poetic image without adornments, going towards the ascetic. In fact, all this inquiry is constructed through various initiatory actions where they are proposed as significant elements to the body in the landscape, in particular, in the desert. RESISTENCIA are several "actions of force" that serve to present the question of whether resisting is to exist. In addition, the actions of force are understood as acts of faith in which the will is presented as a way of being and being in the world. These actions of force project us towards different types of resistances: daily, social, political, violent, elected, imposed, as a means of peaceful struggle, as an attitude towards life, etc. We all have our daily resistances, which is why this project reflects on this state that we hold on to each morning to move forward, because resistance is, above all, hope.
Another amazing aspect of your work is the nature involved in it. Tell us more about how you combine women and nature.
In "Desierto. Tránsito por los estados del alma", the landscape is fundamental. This whole project will be developed in a way through different deserts of the United States and Iran, among others. The desert is presented as the space of recollection to which you can step aside. At the same time, this attitude implies a close relationship with the physical nature of the environment, in this way, the landscape becomes an experimental element.
Which message do you want to convey with your art?
I conceive my work as a place of reflection and existential questions. With them, I expose a vision as conceptualized as possible so that it can reach everyone who meets it. My commitment as an artist is to make us think, to project ourselves, to recognize ourselves… and observation, such as stopping a few minutes before a work, enhances what is necessary for introspection.
How do you see your future as a photographer?
I see myself working and researching in the artistic creation without stopping, fighting for enthusiasm and a passion to go on. Experiencing everything that the photographic medium offers and, above all, opening up to all possible means with which to express beyond photography.
Thanks Soledad for you words and for sharing a piece of your world with us. If you want to know more about her and her work, visit her website