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Film director Mārtiņš Grauds. Photo from the personal archive

Did you feel sorrow?

No, I felt enjoyment from the various contrasting situations. Both from the human relationships seen in the frame and from the uncanny outfits. See, we’ve returned once again to fashion. There were unique outfits that contrasted sharply with the setting where the action took place.

All of this together forms what I’m looking for. I’m trying to walk a fine line, without falling into either the tragic or the comic, because in life both one and the other coexist together.

You’ve called your own photographic genre “documentary poetic.” Does this label describe your quests?

I first heard this term in film school while listening to a lecture about Lithuanian documentary film, which was particularly strong and well cultivated in the 1970s. These were works that were defined as the documentary poetic genre—over the course of fifteen minutes only eight frames were changed, which essentially is like moving photography. In this form of expression, a documentary cannot not be poetic. I search for this in photography, because life itself offers fantastic plots, which it is difficult not to record if you love photography.

You have worked in film and photography. You have also dabbled in music at Radio NABA and in atmospheric direction as a DJ at clubs and events. What else would you like to try?

I don’t want to turn to other modes of expression; I want to cultivate and continue what I’m doing. I don’t see an end to directing, yet with photography I’m just playing around, and I actually get perplexed when somebody calls me a photographer.

Yet I’d gladly cultivate words. See, even this conversation is taking place with ellipses… I’d like my language to be more fluent. To cultivate words—that means to read more, to work harder at tying words to their places. 

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