»»In response to “Womantree”
Without planning ahead, we did this project at three different locations, including woods, Sebastian’s studio, and farms. During the residency, our processes of materializing our ideas which were proposed to Camac before we came were really about experimenting due to the new socio-cultural environment. We first started the shooting in the woods. It was just right before dusk arrived. When we finished our shooting, a farmer drove his gigantic tractor fast towards us and then passed by us. The huge tractor disappeared in the woods. In the dark, the tractor’s huge headlamps looked like an alien UFO. Then, we realized that the farmer took off from work and parked his tractor in a special parking slot in the woods.
Lee: Would you like to talk about the different presentation of Womantree, including shooting in your studio, in the woods, on the fields, such as light, space, stories, and so on?
Sebastian: Womantree was a beautiful visual project along with a poem, a photo sequence, and an installation. This story was written step by step in a narrative format, which presents simple and balanced in a perfect visual composition. The three photo shoots were directed to the same point: The way and the dance towards the womantree’s death. At the end of the project, I decided the coherence of the story, rather than presenting photography, which was realized in the studio. Shooting in a studio all was more about fashion, prefabricate, and perfectly beautiful. Following your suggestion, I again took pictures outside under the same idea and further made the use of the horizon, the natural space, and the colors of south-east France.
Womantree has a sequence of 7 photos, not a series, which the same horizon line lead the end of the story. The poem of Womantree was read in a natural way. Let me put it this way: My poem was translated into 3 languages and was read by 3 peoples in their own language. The result of listening to the poem reading was beautiful. So, Womantree is a narrative between the beauty, the sadness, the freedom, the death, and the compassion.
Lee: You come from a fashion photography background. Usually fashion photography would have a crew to work on shooting, for example stylists, artists, models, editors, etc. How do you see your work at CAMAC connected to your fashion photography?
Sebastian: During my residency at Camac, I did a short session of fashion photography of Argentina painter María Colombos’ silk scarf. It was done outside with the background of gorgeous natural scenes. I understand the balance between the art and the fashion. I can see this little and almost invisible line that makes all deeper changes of textures and dimensions in a fashion idea. And again, I can probe that I don’t need all production to create one important, different, and touching idea. Camac was my plateau for experiments, changes, and explorations of all possibilities of making deep art in the simple life.
In response to” Multipolar”
Lee: For me, posing for Multipolar was the most difficult project. How could I express my true emotions to a photographer whom I knew for a couple of weeks in this foreign place? In particular, I am so aware of a camera. Also, it would be so embarrassing to show my real expressions to a new friend. Womantree now seems much easier for me because what I did there was to follow your directing. At the beginning of the shooting, I remember that we sat and talked for a very long time. I am curious about how you “direct” people to express their true emotions. Of course people’s posing in Multipolar was very different from models’ acting and posing for your camera. Would you like to talk about your directing process in Multipolar?
Sebastian: The directing in this kind of project was hard, really hard because I always demonstrated and had to control. Although Multipolar is about pure emotions, the participant could lose control and then made me lose my own control too. Directing in Multipolar was to create a safe and confident space where the project step by step and carefully opened the participant’s sensitive layers of emotions which then came to the surface. This project attempts to capture and allow the participant to open up and to explore emotions as a ship in the ocean under a thunderstorm. It was very subtle not to lose the sensibility and to recognize the participant who acted or experienced a real feeling. Further, the project led the participant’s emotions without pushing too much.««