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Thursday, 14 September 2017

On Being Interviewed. And Interviewing Myself

The BJP republished a feature I did on Sleeping by the Mississippi back in 2004. It ends well, describing the book as 'the first work from a man with the charm, vision and intelligence to become one of the truly great photographers.'

Which is spot on so I'm very pleased. I'm trying to remember how often I wrote that kind of thing. I'm worried that all these old articles will pop up where I've predicted everyt Tom, Dick and Harry is going to be a photographic genius of sorts. I'm guessing there's a few of them, but if I find them I'm not letting on. It's my secret. I got it right with Alec Soth and that's good enough for me.

So I've been interviewing photographers and writing about photographers for a long time, but I suddenly realised that I haven't often been interviewed. And then Lucy Davies came along and interviewed me for the BJP about All Quiet on the Home Front (and also for the Daily Telegraph below - it looks great and I love the contents underneath. They kind of fit).

It was such a pleasure to be interviewed for a change and to get a different perspective on my work, where it comes from and what it means. After spending so much time in my own bubble, you get stuck in a particular way of thinking and seeing work. Being interviewed gives an insight into what others see in the work, and the way it communicates. I can remember interviewing people and having them say things like "Oh, I've never thought of it like that, but you're right." It always gave me a little thrill to think that I was shaping, if only in a small way, the way somebody saw their own work. Well exactly the same happened with Lucy.

The conversations I've had with people also shows how All Quiet communicates with people and triggers ideas in them in ways that I never really imagined. Talking to people at Gazebook, especially Emilie Lauwers and Lina Pallota really made this hit home in both sad and beautiful ways that go way beyond the photobook and really touch on what it means to be a human being in your own right, and the limitations we have as children, as parents, as siblings, as men or women, the ways we inflict those limitations on others, and how we can avoid doing that.

I also did an interview with Tony Fouhse (for his blog, Drool) who I've featured extensively on this blog - because he does amazing work. I think it will go out on sunday, but here are some of of the  questions that are partially answered here, that Tony asks - and some that he doesn't.

Why do you still have a blog?

So I can do things like this, so things can be random and so I can swear? This deserves a longer answer.

Why doesn't your blog have a good name like Drool or Conscientious?

Drool's great. Conscientious! Really! 

Why is ICVL publishing the book?

Because Alejandro Acin, the director of ICVL is the creative heart of photography in Bristol.

Are you a salesman?

Ha ha ha. 

Why not?

Selling is painful. I'm feeling it already.

Why not Crowdfunding?

a) I've never wanted to kill myself and I don't want to start now.

b) I don't have enough rich friends.

c) See the Are you a Salesman question.

d) I am fully aware of and envious of those who don't fulfil the b and c answers above, but still complete their target in 22 hours.

Have you ever interviewed yourself?

I think I'm doing it now and I'm getting a taste for it.

Where can we buy the book? And what does it look like?

Good question. See below. It looks great and it feels great and it's getting great responses. Buy it now. 

See the proper interview on Drool this Sunday.

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