mercoledì 8 ottobre 2014

Interview with Batsceba Hardy

batsceba hardy artist photographer photographs batsceba hardy berlin batsceba hardy artist of the irreality batsceba hardy far from the madding crowd
Hi Batsceba,

First of all, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

My first question is about your artist name. Why did you choose Batsceba Hardy as your official name? Is it just the homage of a passionate reader to Far From the Madding Crowd and its author or do you sort of identify with Hardy's character?

Damn, I never answered this question! However, I try to please you, so i tell you something: of course, the reference to Far from the madding crowd is glaring. For the rest I keep my secret, I can only add that Batsceba Hardy is a very singular name, unique in the world. I should copyright it ;)

You define yourself an “artist of the Irreality” who “lives and will only live in the net”, currently residing in Berlin, although “she could be anywhere”. You also write “I'm a photographer of the wait. I don't look for shots. I find them in the pauses.”

I'm utterly fascinated by your work. It seems to me that your method essentially relies on hiding, revealing and revealing through hiding. Very often, when looking at your photos, we are well aware of the presence of the artist even if she doesn't appear in the picture. That is, the hidden artist is revealed through her unique vision while revealing to us what she is seeing. Sometimes what we are shown of the artist is her vague reflection in a glass surface, implying her wish not to be seen and to be seen at the same time. This is all extremely intriguing. How would you explain these two opposite tendencies?

Thank You! You have carefully analyzed my work, I can only add this:

"it is joy to be hidden and disaster not to be found" (D.W. Winnicott)

Anyway, "artist" of the Irreality, means: to be able to stand outside, beyond. Living perpetually in the interspaces, those that can be caught by the lens or by the words. having no borders, obligations. In many of my writings I speak of invisibility, transparency. And also in my photographic works I speak of empty and full. Of absence. Clearer?

I love that quality of meaningful immediacy pervading your shots of people in bars, in the metro or just strolling the city. No sequence of words could narrate reality better than such lively portraits. When did you start taking this kind of pictures? Were you influenced by other photographers?

I started taking street photos in Berlin, trying to be in the mood with the city and its inhabitants. What interested me was the sadness and -at the same time- the feeling of freedom, of diversity, that you can experience in Berlin. As always I'm driven by the desire to retell reality, and so I do it taking photographs...

Uhm... Many. Man Ray, Ansel Adams, Urs Lüthi, Cecil Beaton, Vivian Maier, Robert Doisneau, Diane Arbus, Weegee, René Groebli, André Kertész, Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, Yuri Bonder...
The world is full of good eyes.

Do you already have an idea of the final result when beginning to work on a collage or you just start experimenting? What software products do you utilize?

When I start a project, I always have an idea of what I want to achieve. Every shot is aimed at my current project. Randomness interests me, but is something that is in a corner, maybe the flame that kindles the idea. 

In any case, I never stop to experiment!
I call my “montage”: "combi-photography". It's a superimposition of photograms (two or more), as in analog photography. Fusion of forms and colours - reality and individuality - through a synesthetic perspective (Photoshop)

In some of my work I worked with the program Comic Life, creating empty paper page on which to paste and assemble the photograms previously
extrapolated, exactly as they used to do in the analogue studio.
A real use of the virtual.

What camera do you use?

Niki Ray (Nikon D7000)

Blue (Olimpus u9000,S9000)

Daniel (Nokia C5)

and others.... CASIO EX-Z110 - Olympus OM1 ....(analogic)

I am not a “traditional” photographer, I believe that the means are not so important, after all ... and I don't have so much money to buy what I'd like.

So I dream of a dark room, a study, one Hasselblad, three Laica, a series of Polaroid, and more.

Tell us a bit about your books (available here)
Do you think they share some themes? How would you define your writing style?

I don't stick to genres, I like to tell stories in different ways, but I believe there is always a certain irrationality in my writings. I defined my way of writing imaginary realism.

What do you think is typical of Berlin or of people from Berlin? Is there something you're especially fond of about Berlin?
I can no longer talk of Berlin. Everybody talks about this city... I think it's a wounded city, its sidewalks carry the memories of these wounds: the signs of the wall and the burnished labels with the names of the deportees of Nazism.

I guess it's like me: tristallegra (sad&happy)

In this city you can find everything, from the man with the Green parrot on his shoulder, to the guys walking around with sheep, from the girl with the pink pig on a leash to the elegant gentleman who goes on an electric skate. And then there is the sky, always in motion, without borders. The sky above Berlin.

Thanks again for your time, Batsceba!

Other links on Batsceba Hardy:

Official website


Her blog on Altervista

Her profile on PhotoVogue

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