It's been a while since we first featured Julia Skopnik, aka zweifellosmondbetont, in our magazine. The visual artist, psychologist, art therapist and co-founder of the X OFF collective tested the LomoChrome Metropolis in its 2019 formula for us. The result is a beautiful series that exudes strength and playfulness. Read more about Julia, the concept behind the shoot and the resulting photos here.
Dear Julia, welcome back to our online magazine! How have you been since our last interview?
Thank you for asking! I have been doing very well. Just today I am very happy, because we just got the keys to a wonderful studio where we are allowed to work for six months. I was also at the ExperimentalPhotoFestival, EXP.22 in Barcelona three weeks ago - which was a great experience and still resonates positively.
During our last conversation, it became very clear that your work process is constantly evolving. What are you particularly interested in at the moment? Is there a new special focus for you?
Since our interview last year, I have continued to work on my darkroom skills as well as a new artistic process in which I experiment a lot with colour mixing, stencils and multiple exposures. I would most likely put the resulting works in the category of concrete photography. In principle, I create very elaborate photograms that contain coloured, geometric shapes and also a "normal" print of a negative. In addition, a reference to graffiti/style writing can be made.
In short: I expose very, very abstracted letters by means of stencils on photographic paper. The working title of the works to date is therefore also photograffism and should perhaps rather be looked at than described.
You tested the LomoChrome Metropolis for us, what do you think of the results?
In addition to the very cerebral, well-planned photograffism darkroom work, it does me a lot of good to occupy myself with the Lomochrome Metropolis and a more classical photographic process every now and then. After almost a year, I finally had the first film full and the first scanned Metropolis negatives on my computer and was immediately thrilled! I really like the desaturated colours and the grain!
What equipment was used to take the photos and what was the concept behind the pictures?
Because of the name of your film, I immediately thought of Fritz Lang's film Metropolis and made associations: City. Big city. Futuristic. Separate societies. Maria. Woman. Gold. M. Magdeburg. etc. This is how the idea for my photo series with the working title this ain't Metropolis, Magdeburg came about. The latter - a city that most fondly associates itself with Otto the Great, Otto von Guericke and his hemispheres, as well as the constant reminder of Germany's no longer existing but at the time most beautiful and famous baroque street... But how do I myself perceive Magdeburg? How would I portray the city? What is important to me? In any case, I wanted to counter the Ottos of this city with a female figure.
I set off with my Pentax LX, a fairly new zoom lens and your LomoChrome Metropolis film in my pocket.
Do you intend to further work on the photos?
There are still two rolls of Metropolis film in my fridge. My goal is to photograph more of Magdeburg's buildings and then put them together in a collage. This should capture the wild mix of influences in the city from the most diverse epochs that have shaped Magdeburg so far. The last millennium alone offers: Fortress, Industry, Reform City, New Building, Second World War, Destruction, Reconstruction, Soviet Occupation Zone, GDR, Reunification, Post-Reunification Years, Building Mania, etc. For me, the city and its history are characterised by contrasts: there is something modern, futuristic, innovative - but there is also stagnation, tradition, heavy engineering, industry. I think I can express my view of Magdeburg better with photos than with words.
What's coming up for you? Are there any new projects you would like to tell us about?
In the new studio I really want to create large format prints!