With: Juan Pablo Torres Muñiz
To recognize, in different images, a variety of persons, of masks; – congruent temperaments.
The pretence is manifest. A charm by which a longer lapse of time fits into a capture – in which she herself, Florence, shapes – the scene. Seducing – a story. One that boils from the pair of eyes, the mouth, the gesture.
In this way, the interest in talking to her resides in the intensity by which she, in bringing forth the situations and therefore the possible questions therein, determines the character not only of her participation, but of the whole project.
It lures and provokes to ask: It’s all about posing…?
Photography, writing, acting, modeling (?)
It would be easier to say – fiction.
I love that sentence who says artists are liars whose lies end up revealing the truth. I think we all use parts of the truth, of who we are, of our experiences. I don’t think you should actually ask whether it’s fiction, partial or full testimony, because the answer changes for every piece of art we make.
Indeed, its sense is complete once all the agents, so to say, have taken part, – all the communicative elements.
The illusion of a complete understanding, a total communication (as some would put it), is so huge! But it seems to me that talking about a precise data transmission is more accurate to that purpose, which is far away, in fact, of the truly human phenomenon of communication where there’s so much – unspeakable. Thus, you add more than a side to the prism, you open the range of possibilities, you widen the frequency. Or simply you modify it…
When I act and play a text I didn’t wrote, I’m just interpreting, defending the text, helping the writers to tell their stories. Amana Palmer has this image: art making is like taking pieces of reality and put them in a blender.
When you set the blender on 1, you keep the facts as they were. At 10, you create whole worlds and, therefore, one can’t even recognize the original material, unless they know you really well.
You have written on that…
In my case, I’d say for the Art of Pose –which by the way I plan to have translated soon– that the blender was set on 1. Every single word was true. My short stories Half-Human and Burn Out were on 2 and 3, I think. The websérie Sans Vouloir Vous Déranger, whose first episodes were co-written with the director, was a 3 blender setting. But the one I’m working on right now will be easily a 6 or 7. And when I’m the art director on my photography projects as a model, the blender is often very high.
Nonetheless, consistency in the characters depends always on a motif… robust, persistent.
But it’s hard to tell what counts as fiction and what counts as testimony when it comes to metaphors. Let’s take my picture Per aspera ad astra, by Raphaelle Monvoisin. You might see some mythological goddess, or you might see a metaphor of how one feel when they free their spirit and start creating. The first solution makes it fictional, but the second one might be seen as a testimony.
The proposal derives from the intention. Even bends it, partially, before liberating itself from it: when characters take up life of their own (a trite commentary, but true).
There was something before, of course. And some keys, too…
I first became a model because I wanted to feel more confident. With my image, my body – as a child I was “that ugly girl” wherever I would go. School years were a bit tough for me, so when I turned 18, I had a very negative image of myself. And I knew of friends of friends who were doing that, modeling, posing for cameras. And I figured… why not give it a try?
I started to model in order to learn how to accept myself, and that’s when I noticed you could tell story with images. My body wasn’t just my body. It was a language. And learning how to model was a way to learn how to speak that language. And then I learnt that, if I could speak, I could also shout, I could also stand for what I thought was right. I could use that as a kind of “militantism”. That’s how being a model made me an activist…
Causes unite. When it’s not about common ones, then it’s possible to build something up better.
You put yourself before and behind the camera. Earlier, much earlier, in the designing process, and after, too, in the precise hour, disposed to guidance and timing…
I pose for artists whose visions touches me, for friends also –they are often the same persons– and sometimes for myself. I want to pick projects that matter to me because I don’t have that much time, so all the just-to-be-pretty projects – I’m done with them. Except when it pays rent.
Pretty… It becomes to paying. In these cases it serves as an answer: it reflexes what others wish or what they’ve been made to feel as a need: asserting in them something that is lacking, often, a simple wish to abstraction, forgetfulness. Complacency. To fear.
Amazement, commotion, questioning, are all much, and intentionally, misunderstood with – mere pleasure.
(The realm of beauty, thus, fluctuates, – as that of all experiences. It changes us and change – with us.)
When in front of the camera, of course I’m here, with my own energy, the exchange with the photographer, the specific connection we share at this moment – and depending on who’s the art director I would direct the shooting or let the photographer direct me. If I’m not the art director I’ll make suggestions anyway, but this is, again, a question whose answer is: “it depends on the photographer / project / day / moon phase”.
Every shoot is different, every interaction is unique. As for the editing part – my choices were set when I decided to work with that photographer. If I decided to work with them, it means I trust their choices in editing so when the shooting my done, so is my job.
A Choice in accordance. With whom may choose in his turn, also, in place of one.
I learnt how to be a photographer by modeling… At the beginning when you’re a model, you look at these images of you and you first ask yourself : Am I pretty enough ? Do I look good ? And maybe after that you pay attention to the composition, to what the picture says. Becoming an experienced model was, to me, learning not to care about how I looked and first see the composition. And when you pose for a lot of photographers, you get to look at a lot of different compositions you participated in. It’s like art class, except you don’t have a teacher to point out what matters. But you get to learn anyway.
The more you see art, the more you’re able to tell what you like, and why.
It’s possible to consider how the sources and references that nourish a vision, for example, beyond photography, surge apparently from the same tension, – carry the same motif, in order to find better or alternate, different, media, simply for establishing a connection…
Art beyond photography? Definitely writing and acting. Both of them.
I did direct a short movie that should be out in October.
I don’t like to close doors. Right now, I’m continuing a project as a photographer named Sigilí – I take pictures of scars and ask the people with the scars to tell their stories. It’s an important project to me, that can also be very emotional when I’m here listening to these stranger’s stories.
… An intimate connection. To open a wound –, to corroborate that everybody bleeds. For different reasons, at the right moment, it cannot be but remarkable.
It’s part of the job precisely to achieve this – closeness. Instinct, skill, step in.
They develope. In some cases even they mutate.
As I said, I don’t want to limit myself – which doesn’t help me because sometimes people get confused and don’t know in which case put me in their minds.
But I don’t really care.
It’s just yielding…
(Translation, by Roberto Zeballos Rebaza)