BY STEVE BISSON
1. First, let’s talk about your predilection for black and white. How this attitude is reflected in your photography?
It just happened gradually and now I’m stuck. It’s not that I’ve never shot color photos, but the color has never grown into a series (yet). What interests me about photography is the transformation process to fiction and to me it’s so much more evident in black and white photography. So I don’t consider black and white to be more true or better in a documentary sense, probably the opposite. I also love that time is less evident and the graphical qualities in black and white.
2. “Unlimited” is configured as an open collection of special glances. How much desire to stitch together personal memories or how much willing to depict single episodes here and there?
«To be honest there’s not that much thought behind that collection of photos. I created it simply to have a place for good singles, photos from short projects or whatever. I didn’t want to impose any rules (crops, orientation, camera types…) or anything of that kind. I want it to be free and just see what happens with it. Maybe it’s gone a year from now or maybe it has grown. What I like about it is that I can find a three year old photo and add it or I can remove a new photo that I maybe added to quickly. That’s what’s good about a website, no need for everything to be static.»
3. The portraits of single and common objects. An objective realism that drives us to meditate not too seriously on the daily lifetime. We find them in the series “Objects”, “31 Kr”, and somehow in “Titled”. Tell us about these projects.
«What these projects have in common is that I’ve been drawn to certain objects and then I’ve just photographed them and put them in a series. It’s really not a lot more complicated than that. In “Objects” which is quite an old series I wanted to distort the objects and make them into something more than just objects. I did that by using quite a lot of wide angle and flash and of course by the selection of objects. “Titled” was more about typography and the words I found interesting or funny and could take out of context from the books. “31 kr” is quite different as it’s things I decided to buy at a second hand shop and take home and photograph. The title “31 kr” was the total I paid for them (31 swedish kr or SEK). So, I basically was editing as I was selecting the things to purchase and maybe in the end everything didn’t come out perfectly because of that, but I decided to include everything I bought.»
4. In the project “Mailboxes” there is an instinctive or involuntary intent to document a landscape. Mailboxes appear as pretexts for the photographer; yet to the observer they become key references in a geography of nowhere…
«Mailboxes isn’t really about the mailboxes at all. I just let them decide where and what I would photograph. It was random snapshots shot by chance of where I would find them. How will I photograph a given scene? What will be in the frame once I’m there? Can photos be created anywhere at any time? These were some of the questions I was asking myself. So in a way it was conceptual snapshots. I shot it with a point & shoot and probably spent a maximum of two minutes at any location I came to. I didn’t want it to be all set up and perfect. I wanted it to be by chance of what I would find there and then. I think photographs can be created anywhere at any time. As long as anyone can press the shutter button they obviously can, but of course it can’t be applied to all projects. So either geography is important or it’s the opposite, either it adds or detracts. In my case the latter. What’s in the photograph and what it looks like is what I care about. If we’re going back to Mailboxes I chose them because there are many of them at varied locations, which means I could get varied content. Subjectively I want to show a little of the human geography, but objectively I’m not that interested.»
5. You have produce a book about the series “The Daily Round”. As a young photographer living in the digital era, how do you see the photographic publishing scenario?
«I wanted that book to reflect the project with a sort of everyday feel to it, almost like a book dummy. Before I did the book I talked to some independent publishers about publishing it. There was a little interest, but in the end it didn’t happen and then I thought why not do it myself? I wanted to produce and get something out there and that’s what I did. That’s what I think is great about todays photographic publishing scenario - everybody can make a book and in many cases the more personal and less quantity the better. This is all great, but what I think is more important is that we don’t forget about digital publishing and figure out a way to market and sell there as well. It would be fantastic with more cheap independent e-books on the smartphones and tablet computers. A purchase is never far away.»
6. Photography started with black and white. What photographic inspirations, artistic or literary influenced you as a photographer?
«Well, I’ve always been a bit inspired by Garry Winogrand’s thoughts and quotes on photography. No fuzz and no pretension. I look at and appreciate so many photographers out there that it’s hard to just name a few. From Sweden I really like the work of Gerry Johansson and Lars Tunbjörk and internationally there’s so many: William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Bruce Gilden, Alex Majoli, John Davies, Martin Parr, Roger Ballen, Masao Yamamoto, Christian Patterson and I can keep going. I’m not in to a certain category or type of photography, I appreciate all or at least most kinds of photography.»
© All copyright remains with photographer Martin Brink