"Desterra" . Full interview with Cristina Regadas
Interview with Cristina Regadas conducted by Rita Roque. 18 / 10 / 2017
All the artistic gesture is beyond political, a geological act. I tis precisely the debate, the discovery and timed perception of a world, and of a time that leads us to a sequence of images, a fourth dimension. Thinking with artist Cristina Regadas in the quietness of her home and studio is the most honest exercise that I can find to follow this so admirably trans - disciplinary thinking, both scientifically and aesthetically. We offer this sharing even before the exhibition is ready, and still in the place of its creation, in its creative uterus, in an attempt to decelerate time and open expository possibilities.
In front of all these layers I wonder about these photos. Are they all yours?
For example, the exhibition will showcase a large print precisely of a found image.
I can say that some of the images here are prints of that collection.
That photo dates from the 50`s. The pink shade in it relates, for instance, with pink quartz.
This specific photography color offers indications about the date, about the time. Of course I could work color to make it timeless, but I am not interested in that.
Memories as a unit, carried in suitcases. Since that day I started feeling photography in another way...
With Zé (José Almeida Pereira) happens the same! For example, when he went to Miami in one of his latest’s travels, I asked him to use a film I had offered to him, and he did those photos. In that sense, although it was he taking the pictures, those become my pictures.
I can give you another example about the look of the other. I once developed a project in witch I asked people to take photos of me, in a specific place, in a street walk. That exercise was a study that I developed, to understand better how each person (in its most anonymous people) would frame me. The differences were amazing. Some with more horizontal approaches, others more vertically, how they would get close to me, or the opposite. It is surprising how there are so many ways to see the other and especially how, in that moment people relate with the photographic device.
In addition to photos, there are also some postcards, which I collect when I travel or if someone offers to me. Usually the ones I am more interested in are like... imagine, the postcards that people would do…
For example, calendula, - they are great to dye, or even hibiscus and fern.
For example, my CONTAX T2 has a light entrance and I keep working with that machine. That light that it’s a fail ends up by making part of the machine identity. I assume the nature in that error so as in the imperfect images. The evolution of the machine itself leads to an amplitude more and more present but to me, there is no machine like this one.
By the way, jet is a mineral that accumulates sand, plants, and pieces of animals. Is in itself a fossil gem that gathers a whole of elements. She is born from the action of oceanic pressure in a sedimentary rock composed by plants fossil remains, and is also know as black amber.
How does it work this thinking before the collect? Do you think in words or ideas?
I would love to experience holding a huge rock and to have pyrite falling geometrically in small perfect cubes. It should be something unprecedented, and magical!
During the course of a day relations and very curious situations happen, and in the end they all seem to fit right. For example, even reading something new, or attending to a conference or watching a movie can enter in that relation and offer sequences. Memories or images end up by coming up. Books that always marked me were, for instance, illustrated encyclopedias. I will never forget those meetings since childhood; - flip through so many times, and some times repeatedly those encyclopedias. I believe that something gets recorded. I believe that it will be very different from this infinite access to information by digital ways. In the end, I question this “being always connected”, this constant digital access, and I question more about the implications, and how they occur in memory. Its different when you have ten books and you see constantly the same image. Fantasizing with those images and to think that twenty or thirty years after they will still be there and wont come out of your head. I know that there are images recorded from that relationship.
I also have the luck to have friends that recommend me a lot of books.
I am very much interested in images with a vision especially at a geological level, but in terms of writing it is not extraordinary, although introduction relates in a very beautiful way with photography, and flourish time traveling.
I am also reading John Berger`s Why Look at Animals. Another book that I read sometimes is Goethe`s Travel to Italy, that combines geology with archaeology, which as a lot to do with my work, but I can tell you that it is necessary to have a certain state of mind in order to get full availability to connect with the book. And of course I could no miss science fiction books.
I am also re-reading parts of Arthur C. Clarke 2001 A Space Odyssey, precisely the monolith part. The book is amazing and the cinematographic work even more. I am also very interested in the work of Gaston Bachelard, Space Poetics; - for me is one of his most beautiful books. I-Ching is also a part of this collection of books that I refer to but I-Ching is not readable. But you know that some creative used it as a work tool; - John Cage, David Bowie.
Deep down you can create work from chance. I use I-Ching as if he gives me clues to new findings. I read values in an occasional way and I love the entrance about the Mountain for instance.
R. Its curious to think in the relation of your work with this space (or future space); - the store and studio (PRUDÊNCIO studio), a place with such a retro futuristic look. A recovered space and inhabited by a careful selection made by João Pedro Filipe, and full of possibilities thanks to these metallic panels designed by Diogo Aguiar studio, and with such a raw light, almost scientific.
I think about this huge distance between the space and your work, with all your essays and findings. I also think in these organisms full of other lives punctuating places and ending up looking further ahead than this time.
Future is this; - those ruins, those dialogues that go beyond us.
Going back to the store and studio (PRUDÊNCIO studio) I understand that commercial character that obliges me to think of another exhibiting way, in another kind of approach, with another risk. There is no safety. The space is not empty and forces a dialogue, and in that measure we talk about some giving up something, about an invitation, another form of dialogue.
R. Did you went already to Galeria da Biodiversidade?
R. From what you tell me I feel that your experience was more about a scientific and playful, and not that philosophical.
It is dazzling without being dazzling; I believe that it’s missing a more profound reflection. But I feel Jardim Botânico as one of the city`s most beautiful places. I believe that its nature, sometimes quite wild, has a lot to teach us…
R. Correlations are yet to be made, and many times with entities that are not so immediate.
R. Let's continue this interview to infinity…