Fernbeziehungen. by Sofia Velasquez
Sofia Velasquez, a Berlin based visual artist, talks about her photobook Fernbeziehungen. - an unapologetically subjective documentation of personal recollections in the form of short narratives. Her work reflects her ideas on memory, youth, space and existentialism.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ARTWORK.
Sofia Velasquez lives and works in Berlin. Making images, moved and still, is a possibility for her to express wordless what moves her and what goes through her head. She started in Hamburg doing several internships for television, production company and a magazine publisher but what impressed her way more were the HamburgerKino e.V. and the occupied artistic district Gängeviertel. She quickly became a part of the international movement Kino movement, which originated in the 1990s in Canada. Together with other filmmakers, she organised short films and traveled around the world to work with other artists in accordance with the motto „do well with nothing, do better with little, and do it right now!“. The kino movement is a community based on the motivation and the idea of a free film landscape. Formed by this unconventional and free working method, which focuses more on the creative, collective process, than the product, Sofia works both photographically and cinematically. In her photography she devotes herself to her surroundings. She photographs very sensitive and intimate moments, which she shares with her friends. She is in love, in situations. In coincidences. Her photographs are emotional touching and sincere.
HOW DID YOU PLAN FOR THIS PROJECT? WHAT WAS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
So far I didn't plan the project. it is a collection of memories from the past years. I am dealing often with memories in my work. Memories are something we base our being, our present on. But memories also can fool us. Sometimes we have a concrete image in front of our eyes. We think we can remember the red dress precisely, if the sun was shining and in which city it happened. But actually there exists something what calls false memory syndrome. Our brain tricks us.
Furthermore, a part of my family lives far away from me. My father is from El Salvador and the geographical distance but emotional closeness formed me a lot. I always miss a part of myself. Through the Kino Movement I got some very close friends who lives in other countries. So a part of my life is always to miss some people, but also feeling that it is not important to have your beloved ones next door, feeling connected or feeling close is a mental thing. It is based on memories.
So in the following work which calls "fernbeziehungen" I tell short stories out of my life. The short stories which I tell with each pair are about closeness. Friendship. Love. Liberty. And distance.
The arrangement of the photographies doesn’t orientate itself neither on a chronological nor a regional sequence. Hereby it develops new constellations and stories inbetween the documentary images.
I published this work as a small booklet, here is the link:
WHAT WORK INSPIRES OR HAS INSPIRED YOU?
I admire a lot of different artists, not just photographers, but I guess the main artist which inspires and which are also well known are Tobias Zielony and Wolfgang Tillmans.
About Tillmans i am touched by his sensitive view on different peoples. His portraits are so sincere and honest - further i admire him for his political engagement, which i oftrn miss from other photographers. Tillmans isnt just another photographer, Tillmans is an artist who express himself through photography.
About Zielony i can say that i got very addicted to his youth project. As i am also questioning myself often what youth is and what being young means i think he captured this feeling super good. Being young isnt about an age. Being young is a certain feeling, to tell you what being young means to me i must tell situations. Like driving a car in night with loud music an no safety belt. Getting lost in a moment without thinking abo the past or future. Maybe beeing young is about the present. Anyway, Tobias Zielony made it to caputre this unvertain feelings in his photographic work.
But I am not just impressed by big names, what impresses me way more are my friends, ho are also working artisticly. Sometimes not having a well known name makes it hard to take yourself and your artwork serious. My friends, who have wishes, new projects and concepts in their minds without thinking about fame, money and comercial stuff, impresses me way more than every other famous artist.
Your work follows a very beautiful and intimate, emotional narrative. Can you tell us more about the concept of The Kino Movement? Does your work in a sense imitate a visual diary - revealing your own unique perspective? Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
I am part of the so called Kino Movement since some years. The movement is a collab in between several groups around the work which dedicating theirselves to short film making in a collective, free way.
Every year the several groups organising a so called kino kabaret, which is a film festival, but it is not about showing hat you have done in the last year, it is about creating new projects. for each festival which runs over one week there is just one rule : make your film in 48 (sometimes 72) hours. So the filmmakers have to be highly creative as they don't have money and have to realise their project from the script writing over shooting till finishing the edit in such a short time. What I enjoy thr most about it it that it is very familiar. I once went to Tel Aviv with a couple of friends and we met other friends from Paris. Further, i appreciate the creative and collective work, it is not about your ego and fame, it is about filmmaking together.
I have the feeling i am repeating myself, but in general my main themes are coincidences, memories, youth, public space and where i see myself in it.
Any words for aspiring photographers?
Don't be afraid. I am often to afraid of acting weird, that is why I miss sometimes something. Do what ever you feel like, time passes anyway.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
I passed the first half year of 2017 in Istanbul for a semester abroad, I did two projects over there. One is almost ready, i just have to print it so i send you the link. It deals about the referendum day in Istanbul.