Interview: Georgia Ark
Luca Curci talks with Georgia Ark during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY 2021, 3RD EDITION at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Georgia Ark (Ioannina, Greece, 1982) is a Greek photographer and visual artist. Studied photography in Greece and continued her studies in cinematography in Madrid, Spain. Based in Madrid since 2012. Her work is mainly focused on self-portrait and body. Struggling with depression and insomnia for years and finding a way to express and capture that sorrow in self-portraits. Trying to find elegance and beauty despite the darkness or sadness of the situation. Has worked and collaborated with numerous artists and performers. With director Tagore González in the video book project “El paje Eterno” and the teatrical play “El Abismo de los Pájaros”. With award-winning director Mario Hernández in the theatrical adaptation “Beat G”. With singer Lucía Scansetti in “Basal Flame” video clip and numerous musicians and groups like 23 Collective, Gut Derby, The Small Apartment, The Lucilles, Música a la Carta. With dancer and choreographer Sergio Jaraiz in the dance film project ̈Minotauros. And choreographer and dance company La Phármaco. Another passion of hers is theater and stage photography. Has colaborated with company Meraki Producciones and Ovella Proyecto, various actors, performers and theater groups. Currently working as a freelance photographer and camera operator in Mínimo Estudio with video artist José Ramón da Cruz. Is the official videographer and photographer of the performance duo Proyecto Chilco.
LUCA CURCI – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
GEORGIA ARK – I was born in Greece where I spend most of my life. From a very young age, I used to watch a lot of cinema and I was fascinated by the video clip culture. Music and images composing a story. I was very shy and fearful as a child, not really sociable and I was constantly observing people and places. Composing images and stories in my head, like shooting photos without a camera. I have a photographic memory. At the age of 24, I started experimenting with photography. My first photos were mostly abandoned places and old buildings of my hometown. In 2012 came to Madrid to study cinematography and with my first digital camera tried to explore more themes. For the first time, I was portraiting people and then I started with self-portraits. I think it was a certain necessity to observe myself and acknowledge my feelings for the first time. See me and recognize my sadness. I struggle with depression from a young age and I wasn’t very vocal about it.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
GA – I like to explore the vulnerable side of people and find the elegance that exists beyond the pain or the sadness. I usually work with a 50mm lens so I can get closer to people. I love details and close-ups. Then self-portraits which is a therapeutic process.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
GA – It is really hard to answer that question. It always depends on the artist. I think it ́s important to be able to evoke emotions and communicate with people. If your art is honest people would appreciate it. Or in a way, they can identify with what you are showing or telling them with your art. Of course, it’s important and even necessary to educate and open minds.
LC – What is your creative process like?
GA – I don’t have a routine working. I am very intuitive and I like to improvise at the moment of taking photos. I like freedom of expression when I portraiting people. I am not a big fan of posing all the time or looking at the camera. I prefer going with the energy that the person gives me and build trust between us. I also prefer natural light when it’s possible.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
GA – My work is mainly focused on self-portraits and the body. My melancholic mood has always been an inspiration.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
GA – The main theme of my artwork is the connection between body and emotional stage. Finding a way to express feeling without using words. The body has memory and its own language. Everything that happens to us, our experiences, pain, stress, anxiety and all kind of emotions are connected and reflected on our body.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
GA – The artwork I presented is a series of self-portraits that I ́ve been working on the last years. Between 2017 and 2021. A series of intimate self-portraits presenting my emotional stage. The constant struggle with depression and coping with despairing feelings. Photos taken from a distance or capturing my reflection through a mirror. Focusing on details or letting the body sink into the darkness. Finally losing the silhouette in the black. Balancing between melancholic atmosphere and elegance. Two opposite worlds composing a symmetric image.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
GA – It is an amazing opportunity for multipliscinary artists from all around the world to show, exhibit and sell their artwork. Every month new artists participating and have the chance to meet with other artists and talk about their art. In different cities and galleries. It ́s really cool.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
GA – I think it ́s working really well. I couldn’t assist this year. Maybe in the future.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
GA – Definitely. Itsliquid platform works amazing for emerging artists.