Maya Rochat on painting perception and ‘stretching photographys motives
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Maya Rochat on portray, notion, and ‘stretching photography’s motives’

© Maya Rochat

This text seems within the forthcoming Spatial Consciousness concern of British Journal of Photography. The journal might be available for purchase at from 07 September

Photography’s guidelines are made to be damaged. Having develop into annoyed with the medium’s conventions, 5 artists talk about how sculpture, activism and X-rays preserve images alive of their work. First up: Maya Rochat

Swiss artist Maya Rochat combines photographic and painterly methods in her vivid, alchemical works of color. She additionally creates performances and neighborhood occasions round her installations, inviting musicians to animate the exhibition areas. Her solo exhibition Poetry of the Earth is at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, till 1 October 2023.

I’m from a conventional images background in that I studied it on the École cantonale d’artwork de Lausanne. In some unspecified time in the future I realised that images felt too framed and repetitive, so I made a decision to discover completely different prospects. I found what it means for photos to be skilled in areas, reasonably than simply in a ebook or smaller format. From there the picture turned a tremendous playground to enter: the query in my observe wasn’t ‘images or portray’, however ‘what’s an attention-grabbing surroundings?’ What’s it that makes you wish to have a look at photos? There may be this sensuality and playfulness to each media which I like to attach – to create one thing which you’re by no means actually certain what you’re taking a look at.

My focus moved from portraits to nature images, and then to pictures of its matter. From that the transfer in direction of portray felt logical. I additionally like combining methods: a photographic method to print out portray, or related. It turns into an intertwined language.

Maya Rochat on painting perception and ‘stretching photographys motives
Poetry of the Earth
(Fleurs protégées de la Suisse « N°20 »), [Protected Flowers from Swizterland, “N°20”], 2022

Maya Rochat on painting perception and ‘stretching photographys motives
Poetry of the Earth (Les frontières sont des dessins), [Frontiers are drawing], 2022

The area is all the time on the centre of my installations. That’s what evokes me to play with sure supplies. The up to date areas I select can take different supplies in a manner that conventional ones can not. I construct my work within the areas; I need guests to really feel that the work is made for them – in a specific place and for a selected expertise. 

In Switzerland, we now have this observe at school the place you make your personal marble portray and you make slightly booklet out of it to take residence. I like that acquainted ingredient – connecting the viewer to childhood. A Rock is a River was about human notion. I created water and mineral pictures, then got here a pictorial gesture to mix the images (actuality) with work (desires) that regarded just like the drawings I may discover in nature. 

My work is extra impressed by painters than photographers – and additionally mixed-media artists like Pipilotti Rist. There’s additionally Jonathan Meese, who isn’t summary in any respect, however what I like is his expression of one thing private – simply doing the work, taking the area in a playful manner. Meese’s work is cynical however can be humorous, and it has a multi-dimensional facet. You may all the time go deeper. There’s all the time extra to find.

Maya Rochat on painting perception and ‘stretching photographys motives
Vote for me! (Pirat), 2012

I met Simon Baker, the MEP director, round 12 years in the past at Offprint, when he was working at Tate. The ebook is on the centre of my work, so for Poetry of the Earth, we thought it might be good to honour the printed kind, which isn’t all the time extremely valued within the artwork world however is expensive to photographers. For me it’s probably the most lovely object you possibly can have when it comes to photos. I like exhibits, however they’re ephemeral and don’t have this intimacy with the viewer. Every area within the MEP is one ‘ebook’, and then different prints and installations correspond to the manufacturing interval, so you can too comply with my work’s evolution. Ten years in the past my observe was much more punk and violent. Now it’s extra contemplative and has a distinct vitality. My work is turning into extra lovely however with out being too good.

There may be an invite to admire pure motives in my exhibitions which I need folks to begin seeing on this planet round them. That is what I would love folks to take from the present. So if you sit in your automobile and water drops on the windscreen, you possibly can get pleasure from this small however lovely second. We may all use slightly bit extra magnificence in our lives. I don’t wish to have violence in my work anymore; there’s sufficient violence on this planet. I wish to give one thing optimistic. We have to discover respiration area for inspiration – to undertaking one thing optimistic for our future.

Maya Rochat on painting perception and ‘stretching photographys motives
Poetry of the Earth, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, set up picture by Quentin Chevrier

“I construct my work within the areas; I need guests to really feel that the work is made for them – in a specific place and for a selected expertise”

In 2019, analogue nature images got here again into my work. I discovered a pair who’ve 20 years’ price of slides that are very well annotated. Normally I don’t work with discovered materials, however on this event I needed to make them alive once more. It’s troublesome to take a look at what’s taking place with nature in the mean time. How can we make photos that make you wish to have a look at nature and it’s a nice expertise, not one thing the place you suppose ‘We’re all going to die’? 

Performances are an vital facet of my work. In my sequence Dwelling in a Portray, I used to be occupied with the way to share the inventive image-making course of with the general public. I didn’t wish to do that digitally, so I discovered overhead projectors from a college. I began to color on transparency movie, inviting musicians Julie Semoroz, Pyrit and Buvette to carry out too. I’m at present making numerous video collages that are linked to my books and the exhibits. They create an environment and supply a soothing second for the folks within the area.

When it comes to method, I prefer to look into the previous and future – to not be misplaced in one thing romantic, however to discover what’s attainable. There are some superb digital instruments; why not use them if it’s empowering the photographs? I used to {photograph} much more than I do now. It’s a bit much less of on a regular basis life, and I don’t {photograph} folks anymore. I’m stretching photography’s motives another way. I like invites to look twice at what we consider we all know already.

Maya Rochat, Poetry of the Earth, is at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, till 01 October

The put up Maya Rochat on portray, notion, and ‘stretching photography’s motives’ appeared first on 1854 Photography.

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