Wesley Robert is 25 and is an underdog, he does lunch with hounds & this interview was conducted by T Reilly Hodgson.
T REILLY HODGSON: I was talking to a friend the other day and it came up that no one ever says anything about Edmonton. Ever. Noone we were with had been. What’s the best and the worst about your city? WESLEY ROBERT: Edmonton’s not actually that bad… It really just depends on what side of the bed I wake up on, sometimes I rep it hard, get all sappy about a rooftop or river valley spot and really like it, sometimes all my friends are at work, and it’s raining out, then I hate it and wish I lived in Montreal. One thing I do like about Edmonton, is that it’s easy, easy enough. I actually get photos in spots I’m 99% confident no one has documented, big cities have a lot more traffic, in Edmonton my spots are my spots, in New York, my spots would have been 1000 different people’s spots for the past 3 decades… I find a stylus epic almost every time I go to value village, that wouldn’t happen in S.F. This city is far from over saturated, which depending on the day, is good or bad…. I guess that answers both questions… there is no scene out here, for anything really, it’s so nice outside today though, I’m finding it hard to complain.
RH: How long were you in Berlin for this summer? I know you’ve got to have a good story or two from that. WR: I spent the month of July in Berlin, it really ruled. Pretty much like that city was built for me, I got along very well with that city, not too sure if the feeling is mutual though…. Stories… I had a apartment with my girlfriend, we got it through some rental agency, the main guy spoke english very well, his partners did not… on our last weekend there, a fuse blew and we lost power, heat, hot water, air conditioning… It just so happened that the main guy was out of town for 4 days, and no one could understand our messages, and no electricians worked on weekends, so we spent the last few nights charging our macbooks at coffee shops and watching freaks and geeks by candle light. Pretty cool in the end, it made for some good memories, and good photos. The dude got back on Monday and fixed it all up, gave us a deal on rent for the troubles. We did lose 2 ice cream bars to the thawed freezer, not cool…
RH: What is your stance on so called “flickr photographers”, for lack of a better term? I think you’ve got like 50 tumblrs. Is this all part of your internet come back scheme that I read about? WR: Flickr is just to much of a decent thing, it just bums me out every time I see a fanzine made, or a photoshopped picture of a girl on a beach getting 14 000 views. I used to love it, but it finally got to me. I used to get 48 views on a 35mm shot that I considered one of my better, and 412 views on a digital picture of my cat. If that makes any sense… I have 1 [Tumblr] for my iPhone, just stupid things I see that don’t deserve film, I have a blog for a zine that I put out, it never gets updated, I actually suck at the internet, maybe that’s why I’ve been hating it lately… I have a blog for my own photography too, I tried not having one for a while, but it’s 2010, it wasn’t really working out not having one, and still showcasing what I do, and being able to follow what friends are doing, I’m a hypocrite…. I have had a few more over the past little while, 1 to document my Berlin trip, 1 for found images, tumblrs are just so easy to make, it’s addictive… It’s all part of the comeback, this I promise you.
RH: What’s new for Nowhere Fast collective? Another issue any time soon? WR: Nowhere Fast… I changed the website around a tiny bit, I want to have a small collective of work from friends, as well as a few select interviews or artist spotlights, so watch for that I guess…I want to have a lot more things for sale in the online store. I’m trying my best to update the blog more. I’m working on a book, and actually starting a publishing company as well, in an ideal world… Issue 5 is in the works right now, a lot of contributors are traveling for the summer, so I’m just waiting on them to get home and process film. That reminds me, I need some photos from you. It should be out at the beginning of October.
(ed note: ps- if you live in toronto: go to this.)
My name is Reilly Hodgson, I’m 23. Right now I live in my hometown of Aurora, Canada. It’s a small, boring suburban town a short distance north of Toronto. I am trying to finish my photography degree and also just opened a small arts publishing house called No Fun Press, so lately I’ve only really been seeing a small handful of people because of work. I see the girl at the post office more than I see most of my friends. I do a lot of work together with my good pal Dimitri Karakostas. He’s one of the most talented guys I know!
I started consciously carrying a camera at most times starting when I was about 11 or 12. At that point in time it was mainly just to document local graffiti and my friends skateboarding. The primary school I went to has really great asphalt banks and a few sets of stairs, but none of us were actually very good. The forests behind the school always had a rotation of different forts and treehouses being built then trashed, there were tons of bottles to be smashed and every once in a while one of the girls who’s backyard was on the edge of the woods would sun tan topless, so there was always a good distraction from actually getting any tricks.
I’m not so sure right now. Some of my photos I take for “proof” and others I take because my memory is bad.
↑↑↑ This is a photo of my friend April. I’ve been photographing her regularly for over three years now. Just one or two days prior to this, she had finally told me that she didn’t like having her picture taken. So we’re inside this cavern in a small rural town a few hours North and I’m already feeling guilty about taking photos. The bottom of this caves stays both wet and frozen year round and I “asked” her to climb up the rock face in her job interview clothes and grip-less converse shoes. Climbing was apparently easier said than done and to make things worse, what she used to pull herself up ended up being a dead mouse. She freaked out, screaming and almost fell off the ledge. Later on, we smoked a joint and she ate a whole bunch of candy without washing her hands first. I still feel kind of bad…