Interview: Mia Karlsvard
Luca Curci talks with Mia Karlsvard during the 16th Edition of Venice International Art Fair, at Palazzo Bembo and during BODYSPACES, first appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Mia Karlsvärd has worked as a photographer for over 30 years. In 2018, she left Östgöta Correspondeten newspaper, where she had been employed since the late 1980s, and now runs her own business as a lecturer, photographer and writer. For several years she was chairman of the Swedish Press Photographers Club, and a member of the Swedish Association of Journalists’ professional ethics board. In 2018 and 2019, she was one of the jury members in the Swedish Picture of the Year competition. Recently, she published the book “Fokus and photography”, which is primarily aimed at children and young people. It is very much about photo ethics, which is a subject Mia is really passionate about. She lectures on photo ethics in schools and universities but also for the public. She has had several photo exhibitions including “Photos from a motorcycle” and “Simplicity-Tulips”. She has exhibited her works at many different galleries, including Galleri Venda sida in Linköping, Motala Konsthall, Vadstena Konsthall, gallery Kontrast, Stockholm and most recently at Kulturnatten in Motala. Right now, she is working on her third book, a photo book about Verner von Heidenstam’s Övralid.
Luca Curci – How did you get into photography?
Mia Karlsvard – I have always been interested in expressing myself artistically. As a teenager, I dabbled in theatre, music and ceramics after primary school and administrative studies. When I studied film at the university I realized that it was photography that appealed to me the most as an expression of storytelling.
LC – Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
MK – My first pictures that were published in the local newspaper were from a theatre demonstration. It felt natural to tell about the manifestation journalistically, through pictures.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo?
MK – A photo shall tell a story, and explain phenomena that might be difficult to tell in written words. Give the viewer the opportunity to read the image themselves. To amaze, anger, give a good laugh or maybe lead to improvements.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or instinctive process?
MK – I like to focus on things and phenomena that are relevant right now and here.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MK – The value of the photographic image has increased over the years, which makes me happy as a photographer since I have spent many years advocating for the documentary image. This means that my impression is now one among many other artists’ works. Photography is now one of many artistic ways to express yourself.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
MK – Absolutely. With my works, I want to tell something, and the significant factor then is that someone wants to listen.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
MK – The theme of the Venice International Art Fair is exciting and has given me an inspiring challenge.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MK – The cellphone has given us opportunities to capture moments, and to be in touch with each other anywhere, anytime. It has also given us challenges, to disconnect from being in the present, or in focus. With 24 images, as many as the hours of the day, I show images of people from the streets of Venice as they iterate with the mobile phone. I don’t think the people of Venice, or those who visited the city this day, are unique. Cellphone usage probably looks the same wherever we are.
To be in focus or out of focus is the question.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MK – Definitely. Itsliquid group gives us the chance to be seen by a wider audience and at the same time allows us to meet other artists from all over the world.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
MK – I would like Itsliquid group to organize art fairs and exhibitions in even more places in the world, maybe Sweden, where I come from. Cooperation with them has flowed very smoothly.