Jane Long si dansul cu Costica

Am realizat un interviu cu fotografa australianca Jane Long, care a devenit cunoscuta in urma redefinirii unor fotografii realizate de Costica Acsinte in urma cu aproape 100 de ani.

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Costica Acsinte s-a nascut in judetul Ialomita, in anul 1897. A participat ca voluntar in razboi, iar din anii ’20 activeaza ca fotograf de razboi. Astfel, lasa in urma lui un tezaur foto-documentar, o colectie de peste 4000 de fotografii pline de istorie. Pentru ca aceste fotografii sa nu se piarda, s-a inceput lucrul la digitalizarea placutelor fotografice si arhivarea acestora la standard ISO.

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Constantin Acsinte a reusit sa-i fotografieze pe oameni evidentiandu-le ocupatia, vestimentatia si conditiile de trai. Un fel de „Humans of New York” al Romaniei din acea vreme.

jl-head-shot-0914-036-edit1.Cine este Jane Long? Spune-mi mai multe despre copilaria ta, despre viata din Australia, despre orasul in care traiesti.

M-am nascut si am crescu intr-o suburbie a Melbourne-ului, fiind cea mai mica dintre cei patru frati.Am fost un copil foarte rasfatat si o adolescenta rebela. Acum, sunt mai linistita, ce-i drept. In prezent, locuiesc impreuna cu familia mea si cei doi catei in insoritul Brisbane din Queensland. Ne-am mutat aici acum 13 ani si traim o viata linistita.

2. Cum decurge o zi normala din viata ta?

Mai degraba plictisitoare, sincer! Lucrez de acasa, asa ca atunci cand ma trezesc imi verific mail-urile si conturile de pe site-urile sociale, in timp ce imi beau ceaiul . Dupa care, ma pregatesc pentru ziua respectiva, ma asez la birou si incep sa lucrez. Am cativa clienti pentru care lucrez ca graphic designer, asa ca primul pas este acela de a  realiza sarcinile respective. Dupa care, lucrez fie la dezvoltarea unor cencepte, fie planuri, shootinguri, editari, ori lucruri legate de marketing. Este important,  pe cat posibil ,sa respecti anumite ore de lucru, sa fii disciplinat. Asa cum am mai spus, imi mai verific si contul de Facebook cand sunt plictisita sau am nevoie de o pauza, insa incerc pe cat posibil sa nu investesc prea mult timp  cand vine vorba de o astfel de activitate. Spre seara, avem cina cu familia, apoi ma uit la televizor sau citesc. Obisnuiam sa lucrez noaptea foarte mult, insa incerc pe cat posibil sa-mi desfasor activitatile doar in timpul programului pe care mi l-am impus. Noptile de vineri si sambata au ramas insa ca pe vremuri, ma distrez editand. Weekend-ul este pentru cautare locurilor pentru shootinguri, pentru descoperirea unor peisaje noi.

3. Care au fost momentele intense din viata ta?

Casatoria si faptul ca am devenit parinte. Fiul meu s-a nascut prematur si a avut un inceput de viata destul de complicat- cu certitudine a fost un moment intens! Momentele intense tin de perioada pe care o traiesti atunci. Cu trecerea timpului, deci cu inaintarea in varsta, nu mai au aceslasi impact, treci peste.

4. Ce te tine treaza noapte?

In  majoritatea timpului, mintea mea calatoreste intr-o directie creativa, asa ca fac liste cu ideile  si lucrurile de care am nevoie pentru shooting-uri. Cateodata beau prea mult vin, ascult muzica veche si devin sentimentala.

5. Lucrezi in industria fotografica sau e doar un hobby pe care il dezvolti?

Am avut propria afcere de graphic design din anul 1996. In ultimii ani, am inceput sa ma indrept catre fotografie, iar anul acesta mi-am concentrat mai mult atentia inspre arta plastica.

6. De unde iti vine inspiratia atunci cand faci poze?

Emotia, vulnerabilitate, simtul ambiguitatii, cand nu esti sigur daca ceva este real sau ireal.

7. Esti autorul proiectului “Dancing with Costica”. Ce ai gasit in fotografiile lui Costica Acsinte si ce te-a inspirat sa le duci intr-o asemenea directie?

Am considerat fotografiile sale putin inspaimantatoare. Era ceva normal, ca la acea vreme oamenii sa aiba o  prezenta serioasa in fata unui aparat de fotografiat. Cele mai multe fotografii sunt facute in acelasi studio, cu acelasi fundal si aceasi lumina. Iar acum, cand te uiti la imaginile photoshopate, inca poate fi observata personalitatea fiecarui individ.

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8. Care a fost reactia ta in momentul in care ai observat viralitatea fotografiilor al acestui proiect?

A fost ciudat si surprinzator in acelasi timp, pentru ca  stateam destul de izolata in acea perioada. Aveam grija de casa fratelui meu la acel moment si eram singura. Mi se parea….ireal. Primul caruia i-am dat aceasta veste a fost cainele, care parea foarte fericit la cele auzite, mai ales daca ii dadeam biscuiti.

9. Descrie-mi proiectul tau in 3 cuvinte.

Mi-ar placea sa cred ca este capricios, plin de respect si  neprevazut.

10. Da-mi 5 motive pentru care ar trebui sa apreciam mai mult fotografiile lui Costica Acsinte.

– Este o colectie uimitoare, o bucatica de istorie.

-A fost singurul fotograf  din acel timp, in acel loc. A obtinut un record fotografic.

– Sunt oameni reali cu sperante si vise. Tin sa cred ca vor sa fie reamintiti.

– Volumul pur al colectiei. Cred ca deja au fost digitalizate 3000 de fotografii, multumirile revenindu-i lui Cezar Popescu.

-Constituie calatoria intreaga a fotografului, de la inceput pana la sfarsit. Este un progres fascinant!

11. Aducand acum vorba si de celelalte proiecte pe care le-ai avut, tin sa mentionez ca mi-a placut foarte mult si proiectul “Self-Perservation”. Fotografia mea preferata era cea cu femeia murata din borcan. Care este poveste din spatele proiectului?

Am stat enorm de mult timp pentru a realiza acea imagine, asa cum o vizualizam in minte.

Fotografiile acelea s-au bazat pe capacitatea oamenilor de a se autoobserva, au fost niste serii introspective. Fotografiile reliefeaza starile emotionale prin care ajungem sa trecem cu totii si pe care vrem sa le eliminam din existenta noastra. Refugiul dupa furtuna si lupta interioara cu schimbarile.

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12.Acum cateva zile, ai postat un anunt pe Facebook, ca ai cateva fotografii nominalizate pentru pemiile Macquire. Despre ce este vorba?

Mcquire este o competitie de fotografie din Australia. Sunt patru categorii, printre care si “Arthouse”, unde mi-au fost nominalizate fotografiile. Se dau si premii in bani, 500$ australieni pentru fiecare categorie, insa  as fi atat de fericita sa primesc acest premiu pentru faptul ca mi s-ar deschide usi catre galerii de arta si alte reprezentatii.

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1. Who is Jane Long? Tell me more about your childhood, your life in Australia, about your city.
I was born and raised in a middle-class suburb of Melbourne, the youngest of four. I was quite spoiled as a child and rebelled as a teenager. These days I’m a little quieter! I live with my husband, 22 year old daughter, 17 year old son and two dogs in sunny Brisbane in Queensland. We moved here about 13 years ago and live a fairly quiet, suburban life!

2. How does a normal day in your life unfold.
Rather boring really! I work from home so when I get up I go through my emails and check in on my social media accounts whilst I’m waking up and having a cup of tea. Then I get ready for the day and sit down to work. I still have a number of graphic design clients, so the first order of business is to catch up on anything there. Then I sit down and work on either concept development, planning, shooting, editing or the business and marketing side of things. I think it’s important to keep regular business hours where possible, to have that discipline. Having said that I still check in on the Facebook account when I’m bored or need a break but I try not to spend too much time on there! Then dinner with the family and after that I usually just watch TV or read. I used to work on composites a lot at night but since I decided to do this full time I try to keep that work to business hours. There’s still the odd Friday or Saturday night where I just sit and edit for fun though! On weekends I’ll often take a drive to find suitable locations for shoots or background images.

3. What were the most intense moments of your life?
Getting married, becoming a parent! My son was born very premature and had a complicated start to life – that was certainly a very intense experience! Other moments were intense at the time, but are just a part of life and have less impact as you move on and get older.

4. What keeps you up at night?
Sometimes my mind wanders off in a creative direction, or I make lists of ideas or the things I need for a shoot. Sometimes I drink a lot of wine, watch old music videos and get sentimental!

5. Do you have a job in photografic industry or is it just a hobby?
I’ve had my own graphic design business since 1996. In the past few years I’ve been moving more towards photography and this year my focus has shifted to fine art.

6. What’s your inspiration when you take photos?
Emotion, vulnerability. To have a sense of ambiguity, where you are not sure what is real and what is not real.

7. Your the author of the project „Dancing with Costică„. What did you find in Costică Acsinte’s photographs and what inspired you to enhance them in that way?
I found his images quite haunting. It was normal to have a very serious face in photographs at the time and many of the images are shot in the same studio with the same background and lighting. And yet when you look at the images as a whole you can still see the personality of each individual.

8. What were the feelings you had when you realised how viral the photos had become?
It was odd because I was interstate house-sitting for my brother at the time and on my own. It was certainly a little surreal! Fortunately my brother’s dog pretended to be interested if I gave him a biscuit.

9. Describe your project in 3 words.
I would like to think whimsical, respectful, odd!

10. Give me 5 reasons why we should appreciate more Costica’s photos.
1. It’s an amazing collection, a real piece of history.
2. It’s believed he was the only photographer operating in the area at the time. This is the only photographic record of that place in that time.
3. These are real people, who had real hopes and dreams. I hope they would like to be remembered.
4. The pure volume of the collection. I think they’ve just passed 3000 images now digitized. A real credit to Cezar Popescu.
5. It is the complete journey of the photographer, from the beginning to the end of his career. It’s a fascinating progression.

11. I also saw your other conceptual work and I have to say I love your „Self-Perservation” project. I also need to mention that my favourite photo was the one with the pickled woman in the jar. Now my question is, what’s the story behind that conceptual work? What do you want to hand over?
This was a very introspective series. As a self-portrait series it is about emotional self-preservation. Sheltering the storm and learning to deal with change. I spent an awfully long time in the bath trying to get that particular image right!

12. A few days ago you posted on Facebook that you have a few photographs nominated for the Macquire Ph. Prize. What is it about?
The Macquarie Photography Prize is an Australian photography competition. There are four categories, including the „Arthouse” category, where my images are entered. The prize for each category is AU$500 but if you take out the major prize it’s AU$15,00 in cash and AU$5000 towards a camera. I’d be ecstatic to take out the prize for the category. Being able to have that on my CV might be what gets me a foot in the door with a gallery or representation. 

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