Thursday, 24 June 2010

Talena Sanders

In your work: are you interested in showing reality as it is or rather in producing a certain interpretation of it?

I think all photographs are only an interpretation – the frame is the limit and we choose what is in the frame, the viewer has to rely on our choices to interpret what is the reality of an image. That said, I definitely make choices in which camera I take out with me, what types of film, and what type of interaction I have with portrait subjects.

Which camera(s)/film do you use currently?

Lately it’s a Pentax Espio 80 and mostly Kodak Max 400. I shot all of my last overseas trip on a Fuji Discovery 75, though.

How much do you value art critics' opinions or reviews?

Now that I live outside of New York, I value the information on gallery shows that I can receive from reading art reviews. I should be reading more. I read reviews by Jerry Saltz, the critic for New York Magazine, most frequently. I like his style and I appreciate that he often writes on the underrepresentation of female artists’ works in museums and galleries.

Often in movies based heavily on interpersonal relationships photographs of family/friends/lovers tend to be "romantisized". Does this ever annoy you?

Not really. A photo of a lover is inherently romantic no matter how mundane. That’s a certain type of record that I like to make. I definitely have a romanticized view of photos of my friends and family that I fight to decide whether a shot has the right quality.

Does it ever happen that the video to a song changes your perception of it fundamentally?

Totally – if the video is great, I listen to the song much more than I would if the video was only blah. But if a video is terrible I’ll still listen to the song.

Artists you have been watching closely recently?

Right now I’m most fascinated with the artists coming through where I work. I work at an amazing artist residency program and museum in North Carolina called Elsewhere Collaborative. It’s museum situated within a former thrift store and the artists coming through making projects from the former thrift store merchandise are really incredible. It’s a fantastic to be surrounded by constant creativity. I’ve also been looking into Leon Levinstein’s work, Juliana Beasley’s lapdancer photos, and I loved work from artists in the Greater New York show at the PS 1.

Would you say that increasing connectiveness on a global scale brings about a lot of newly created and different cultures or does it rather homogenize?

I love the access to information, the history of images, and the platforms for sharing our work that we have so readily available now. I think the ability and the impetus to quickly communicate and easily share art work from emerging artists is contributing to visual culture.

You're also a videomaker. What are you interested in specifically?

I’ve been focused mainly on photography for the last year but with lots of support from my friend Bill Santen I’ve been transitioning from HD video to 8mm and eventually 16mm film. This transition has been sped up by the recent demise of my HD camera. I’m not sure what will come of my video work in the near future because the preciousness and cost of film is drastically changing my shooting style. You can check out my previous video work at

Old movies: black and white or technicolour?

I appreciate both but I like looking at life in Technicolor more.

Young Fresh and New. Be sure to check out her gallery.

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