Interview: Lindsay Godin
Luca Curci talks with Lindsay Godin during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at The ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Lindsay Godin is an American fine art documentary photographer and a recent 2018 University of Iowa MFA graduate of Studio Arts in photography. Her work sheds awareness on contemporary American cultural norms and political values and how they affect American society on the macro scale. Lindsay was the recipient of PDN’s 2017 Photo Annual Award for student work. Her work is also on permanent collection at the Albright-Knox Gallery in New York and has been exhibited in 30+ shows since 2014. Lindsay is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography & Design at Valdosta State University.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Lindsay Godin – I believe art is a type of visual communication to inform, challenge, and/or engage viewers to reflect on human experience and its history, culture, and conflicts.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
LG – Since the late summer of 2019, I have been photographing the remote, high desert regions across northern Nevada and the state of Utah. The landscape out there has been very inspiring merely because it’s been so different from the northeastern landscape of central New Jersey where I was born and raised. There’s something quite sublime and hauntingly beautiful about how these high deserts cannot support and sustain life, yet humankind can easily defy mortality through the use of technology and the machine. I was inspired by both the historical frontier of the American western expansion and more recently, how humans left their marking on the moon. I’m currently questioning what innovations are yet to come as we further our pursuits with intergalactic technology? The primordial landscapes seen in Futurisms hint towards the previous markings of our past and act as a blank canvas to humankind’s technological and driven potential to dominate and domesticate new territory in other worlds beyond us.
LC – What is your creative process like?
LG – Research and experimentation are extremely important for my creative process. When I transition into a new project, I spend a lot of time observing and evaluating other contemporary and historical artists’ work, taking note of which artworks and concepts are the most visually and conceptually compelling. I’ll simultaneously investigate what scientists have previously researched or are currently researching in topics that I’m interested in. Then, I reflect on how I could implement my own creative ideas in conjunction with interdisciplinary academic collaboration.
Being an academic, I often find myself collaborating with STEM or faculty and researchers from the social sciences to strengthen the message to my audience. A lot of researchers and academics are tackling the same problems, so why not join forces? They can provide so much substantial data, insight, and methodology into developing a project that artists alone would never be able to conduct in such a short time frame. There also seems to be much more funding and grant opportunities when you collaborate, which is obviously a plus since the arts are so underfunded.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
LG – The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely slowed down my process since I cannot travel and collaborate with other academics as frequently as I used to. I hope this will change once the pandemic calms down a bit. For now, I’ve been looking to push the boundaries of digital photography and incorporate more digital renderings and historical archives into my series.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
LG – I would consider myself a socially engaged photographer who creates fine art documentaries that shed awareness on contemporary American cultural norms and political values and how they affect American society on the macro scale. Since 2015, I’ve done photography projects on the romanticism of historical events in America’s public schools, death rituals in contemporary American culture, college binge drinking culture, and more recently, landscape documentaries about the environment that pertain to wildfires and air pollution in the American West.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LG – I think it’s important to showcase art that reflects the relationship between humans and nature, both in the present and where it stands in regard to the future landscape. We live in such a turbulent, unpredictable time and I think a lot of artists, including myself, are trying to confront this matter with their art.
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?
LG – The photograph Rocket (2019) aims to encapsulate America’s vitality and domination when exploring new territory of other worlds, despite the technological naivety of what danger and violence humankind can generate in its path. I found that the exhibition Future Landscapes was very fitting for this image merely due to the fact that it reflects the turbulent relationship between humans and nature in the present and projected future. My artwork depicts the macroscopic potential and danger of what technological advancements lie ahead as we move forward and dominate new frontiers.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LG – While I could not attend this event in person due to the pandemic, I was glad to hear about the turnout! ItsLiquid curator Luca Curci curated BORDERS International Art Fair which featured 300 artists across the world from more than 40 countries. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to showcase my artwork to such a large audience, including the additional thousands of ItsLiquid subscribers and followers.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
LG – While I cannot think of a specific collaboration to suggest between my academic institution and ItsLiquid, I do appreciate ItsLiquid’s dedication and efforts to connect creatives to international exhibition spaces, curators, art collectors, amongst others in the contemporary art world. They offer a great service to get your artwork out there!
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
LG – Networking is so important these days and I do believe other artists would benefit from being a part of ItsLiquid either through its exhibitions, international art events, advertising, and/or press services to promote and even sell their artwork.