Themes of nature and travel are a big influence for Spanish photographer Carla Andrade. In order to push the chromatic possibilities of the LomoChrome Purple and Metropolis films, she chose to shoot vast and natural spaces. In this interview she shared her results and what analogue photography means for her.
Hi Carla, could you make a small presentation to the readers of our Online Magazine?
I am a Visual Artist that works mainly with photography, moving image and installation. Currently, I am based in London but I am always changing my residence. I come from Vigo, a beautiful seaside city in the south of Galicia (Spain) very close to the Portuguese border, where I am constantly coming back.
Tell us about your photographic background. What is your story? When did you start photographing?
I've always been obsessed with the family albums that I went through over and over again. Despite being the youngest of four siblings, I have practically grown up as an only child due to the age difference that separates us. Therefore, those images of experiences of a (my) family that I could not enjoy have somehow served me as tools to build my own identity. It is precisely from there that this need to capture reality and leave it trapped forever through photography arises. Nevertheless, I started taking my own pictures relatively late, when I was 24 and my father gave me an old instant camera he had for Christmas.
I loved the fact that both LomoChrome Metropolis and Purple films change the rules of the game. They are governed by parameters other than the usual ones, opening up new creative possibilities.
Which camera did you use for these photos?
A 35mm Pentax K1000 and a 120 Mamiya 7.
Did the emulsions of the films influenced the choice of the location?
I wanted to experiment with them in natural, open places. Especially with the LomoChrome Metropolis since it is an urban-oriented film. But in order to push their chromatics possibilities, I chose natural spaces with strong greens, blues and yellows in an attempt to reformulate the representation of the landscape, transforming it into a mysterious, otherworldly and somehow beyond grasp presence.
Nature is very often present in your works: what is your relationship with nature?
Indeed, what mainly calls my attention are the spaces, especially the natural spaces as if each moment captured in those places were powerfully unique and unrepeatable. This is accompanied by a feeling of fascination and admiration followed by a feeling of privilege, due to its unattainable character and beauty, inviting me to make it eternal so that I can, perhaps, share it or, of course, never forget it. It is about channeling that infinity in a plastic way, despite the impossibility implicit in this act and, therefore, the failure it entails.
In addition, analogue photography shares with the wild nature that uncontrollable character that resists any attempt at predetermination. The use of the analogue, like the contemplation of nature, forces us to be attentive to what comes instead of anticipating events and thus leave room for the unpredictable. Likewise, it is about accepting mistakes, or what is not perfect according to our intentions, as aesthetic gems, full of value and meaning that not only represent fidelity to reality but also recall the idea of accepting it as it is, without manipulating it at our will.
Who or what inspires your work?
Firstly, being born face to face with the Atlantic Ocean has determined my fascination with non-domesticated nature and its phenomenology. This spontaneous attraction for the unknown and the unattainable through cognitive capacities led me to make use of lens-based media to go beyond reality by the use of that very reality.
Secondly, travelling is a constant in my life and, therefore, it is present in my work. The idea of voyage appears before me as a form of knowledge through the other. It is a way of opening and mental expansion. Also, it is a disruption with the illusion of fusion, control and the feeling of the omnipotence of what is known and maternal. It leads us to cognitively incorporate the world, which somehow gives us a new type of security. Travelling confirms the existence of multiple possibilities, visions and ways of being, stimulating acceptance and an integrating and cumulative gaze.
Finally, what inspires my work is the simple fact of existence. Acknowledging life with its uncertainty, multiplicity and indeterminacy in opposition to universalization and the discourse of totality.
You are a very prolific artist and joined several group exhibitions and solo exhibitions: can you tell us more about your works please?
All the ideas mentioned above are translated into photography and moving image projects that are shown in exhibitions and screenings within contemporary art centres programs. Nevertheless, my work has a theoretical and reflective part that is invisible but is the real framework of all my practice. The conceptual and research work behind is crucial. It is a continuous search that evolves in every new project. All my works are closely related. They all start from the same quest that probably has no end or final answers.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned that you would like to share with us?
Currently, I am working on a new film project. It is a diary of a voyage-wreck in Nepal and Chile. It reflects on the cracks of a system whose effectiveness forgets that the organic is subject to a state of non-programmable uncertainty.