Interview: Katti Borré
Luca Curci talks with Katti Borré during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – ITSLIQUID International Art Fair, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Born and raised in Flanders, Belgium, but shaped during her 8 years stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Katti Borré is more than just a photographer. In 2009 she turned her back to her life and job in Belgium and moved to Argentina with her family, where she lived for 8 years. First she learned Spanish and then went back to school for 3 years to study photography in the Andy Goldstein Escuela de Fotografia Creativa in Buenos Aires. The career switch was a fact. From the beginning she focused on fine art, at first it was photography in its purest form, but she gradually evolved towards serious post processing to make an image ‘hers’. She focusses on perfect imperfections, and tries to make them attractive through different techniques, basically just like a painter does. She won various international photography prizes, and has exhibited in multiple places.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Katti Borré – I see art in general as an expression of emotions. My art is an expression of my emotions, above that, my images will always be well balanced, I will have straight lines or symmetries, which probably finds its origin in my mind being extremely chaotic, and my need for stability. But I also want to trigger the emotions of the viewer. If a viewer feels nothing, then I have failed. What that emotion is, is different for everyone, it should be! It bothers me that many people are constantly negative about many things. I like to focus on the imperfections and make them in one way or another perfect, so that things and places that are considered ugly or unimportant, all of a sudden, become noticed in a positive way, and thus changing the omni present negativity into a moment of positivity, even long lasting!
LC – What is your background?
KB – I studied law and worked in the corporate business for years, When we moved to Argentina in 2009 I had the opportunity to go back to school and make my hobby my profession; I turned my back on it completely and changed career. I have always been into photography, I had my first camera when I was 6, I was an ‘obsessed amateur’, couldn’t live without my camera at hand, but since then it became my full time activity.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
KB – What influenced me the most was us moving to Argentina in 2009. We moved because we fell in love with the country, not because we were forced (professionally). All of a sudden I had time to go back to school, and I just loved taking photos of Buenos Aires, showing the locals how nice their city is, even though most of them don’t think it is. Many argentines were surprised when they saw my photos, ‘is that in Buenos Aires??’. That is when I realised the power of photography. It’s the power to make visible, or to make beautiful, what is invisible or considered ugly for most people. That is why I always found it hard to shoot in the Flanders, Belgium, because our cities are all post card like and too beautiful, and generally known to the locals. Also because our cities are much smaller and there aren’t many hidden secrets. Apart from that, the way of life in Argentina is totally different, and thanks to that I had all it took to evolve both as a person and as an artist.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
KB – Where I find my inspiration changes constantly, it depends on the situation, where I am, etc. Mostly it just comes to me when I least expect it, and often gradually, and often out of necessity. For example in the early days when I was still living in Buenos Aires, I made a series called ‘urban cars’, where I shot old cars ‘with a personality’ that were parked in the street, including a lot of reflections and shallow depth of field. Or I did a series of empty swimming pools, that was called ‘pool blue’. The use of tripods and filters is complicated in Buenos Aires due to security reasons, so during my visits to Belgium I did the long exposure series of ‘Flemish waters’ with tripod and filters. The city scapes started only later, during visits to my daughter in NYC and continued after I moved back to Belgium. Then during the pandemic I started composing images with older photos, as we couldn’t go outside, and later on, when we could leave the house but not the country, I finally managed to get a series of Flemish cities, one thing I always claimed I could never be able to do ! In short : I adapt my style and techniques to the availability and the limitations of the situations I am in.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
KB – Life as an artist isn’t very easy, but it is a lot of fun! Creating and the creative process is generally very fulfilling to me, and it’s easy to fill my days with that. I create for others, and the most frustrating is when people around me aren’t interested in having a look at my work. Selling is one thing, lack of interest is another, and tougher to accept.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
KB – My style is constantly changing, At first my work was pure photography, then I went towards using filters and later on I did a lot of post processing towards creating a completely new image by compiling different images. Nowadays I do a lot of panoramas and interiors. One thing always stays the same and that is the search for stability in balanced images. My work has evolved from pure photography to art, my post production is now more important than the original image and that is something that is constantly but slowly changing. It makes it all very interesting. Standing still with the same technique and style and thus copying myself is something that I fear the most.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
KB – The idea of joint exhibitions is exciting for me, especially with all type of artists, and not just photographers. The international aspect is even more attractive. Seeing your work in a totally different environment is a great feeling, and having a different audience is always a positive thing. It is also inspiring to connect to other artists.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
KB – I do think that Itsliquid Group can represent an opportunity for artists. It is always hard for artists that are not connected to a gallery to find exhibition space, and on the other hand, being connected to an art gallery limits you in many ways. Itsliquid is something in between giving the opportunity to exhibit, and also giving you the freedom to exhibit in different places in the world.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
KB – Absolutely! The organization is great and all went well!