7 September 2012 Interviews
Can you tell us a little about when/how you started taking photographs and a little more about your work in general.
It was at the academy while I was studying sculpture that I started taking dia slides, as a side activity for documenting my sculptural installations and later light installations. Experimenting with dias that were representing site specific light installations led me to start making photo collages in light boxes about architectural spaces. Eventually, I decided to do MA course in Lens-based media at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.
The focus of my works is the psychology of space and uncanny spatial relations of our recently built legacy which I explore through architecture and deserted mountain and seaside landscapes. Decoding and playing with social histories embedded in built environments, I am constructing images by appropriating architectural objects, mainly large public projects – containers of collective civic values, and making apparent the atmosphere of spatial tension in the contemporary cityscape.
In my recent practice I focused on positioning a human body within the relationship between architecture and nature, to question what it means today to physically be present in socially defined spaces.
Dam, 2012 © Tanja Deman/Wim van Krimpen
What gets your creativity flowing?
It is my curiosity about space and the time we live in, in relation to the one which we inherited, encountering puzzling sites and situations layered with history and conflicting atmospheres, but also spending time in meditative spaces.
What do you wish to communicate with your photographs? What would you like people to take away from your work?
My work focuses on re-contextualizing our architectural legacy, though juxtaposing architecture and landscape, architecture and the human body and exploring these relations. It is about seeing the society from outside and reflecting it back to the culture. Often emptiness in my work is there to invite the viewer to become actively contemplative and self-reflective, but also culturally reflexive.
In this regard I am interested in creating metaphorical and uncanny poetics which give a visceral rather than intellectual entrance to the dynamics of a socio-political space.
Pool, 2010 © Tanja Deman/Wim van Krimpen
How do you see collecting photographs? Are you a collector yourself? What about the importance of prints in relation to collecting: in today’s image-laden world, what makes a physical photograph so valuable?
As a part of my creative process I have a large digital photo archive of visual materials, that is constantly growing and in daily use as a reference point. But I don’t see myself as a collector.
When it comes to the photographic prints, digital reproduction definitely communicates the work on one level, but to truly experience the piece, bodily encounter with the work is crucial. Printed work demands a focused process of making choices which play an important part in actually making the work into a complete and finished piece. But in the end it only matters what you want to communicate and what the best medium is for it.
Screening, 2012 © Tanja Deman/Wim van Krimpen
Thank you for the interview Tanja Deman and we look forward to seeing your work, presented by Wim van Krimpen, at Unseen Photo Fair!