Black Views – photographer Marcin Walko operates under such a pseudonym. The conversation with him was conducted by Alicja Reczek known as White Alice. We invite you to read the interview.
You are promised the second part of the interview from the black and white duo series . This time the main role will be played by Marcin Walko. A photographer who loves doing landscapes that diverge from what we know. The conversation is carried out by Alicja Reczek.
You photograph mountains, forests and rivers. Are you a documentalist of nature, a lover of landscape, a landscape painter? … are you identifying with one of these terms?
For me, it's even more of a surprise, I watched your work a few years ago, while my pictures matured somewhere on the disk or in binders, or I published some jams in the belief that someone will tell you how to do it, unfortunately to no avail, masters and people whose in this intentional field of photography, I admire the dead either very long ago or at a time when I was not sufficiently involved in what I am doing now. The fact that someone "from the industry" can appreciate other works, another type of photography is comforting, in the perspective that the majority depreciates any value and idea of not their paintings. Documentalist, it will probably be the best , I refuse to use the terms "photographer, artist" and God's weapon, "traveler", everyone is traveling, driving, flying, a bit like photography, the universality of this phenomenon no longer gives any of the above values. However, I have evidence that the place or surroundings of my photographs change shape, appearance, so treating it as a documentary is the most correct and correct.
Black dominates in your photos. The climate is a mystery. A dramatic mood prevails. Are you a pessimist?
Yes! Pessimist! Especially in the face of recent events, in fact black gives this all a more expressive character and reflective direction. In general, the "white" sounds a bit weak:) Well, these photos, after all, are not colorful … there are many arguments for this and we only have one page. Absolutely, however, the color in photography I think is deconcentrating, people, for example, are delighted with the golden autumn, and yet the mood at this time of the year is not so exciting , on the contrary, so in fact I confirm and assure you that autumn is black … I show the truth? I use black to emphasize drama and regret because everything escapes us, including the surroundings.
You mentioned that you have a guitar strap on the camera, it's an original nuance. Do you use any patents and rituals before taking pictures. Do you have any habits that arise, for example, from the preparation for the trip?
Preparations for the "trip" (the quotes here are important, because I think that I'm just "going") are almost identical to others, for which photography has become a phobia and in general the perspective of seeing through the prism of the image. Charging the battery, formatting the cards, necessarily full in the computer, not the camera! Lenses, a tripod, a few cameras, in order to simultaneously do the same on a negative with similar parameters taken from the number and the remaining items that are completely useless. It's so photographed. As part of the trip, however, earlier – tracking the map in search of the most mountainous and geographically diverse terrain, searching for white paths that are supposed to be roads, repeating and learning basic language phrases. Obligably all slings that need to be taken for mountain accommodation, a sleeping bag, good high boots, a bottle imitating kitchens, half-prepared meals, a station wagon for a few days becomes your home , so you have to do everything that can favor it. The only "ritual" while driving south is crossing the Slovak-Hungarian border in the same place, which … well, it also changed its face! And again, I have photographic evidence for it! And the guitar strap is a story connected with the orchestra in which I played the moment, first it was the saxophone braces, when he went away, I went to the Lord who deals in sewing covers and belts, and I wanted him to make me a belt like those with the guitars, it is more convenient for me to wear a camera than to hang around my neck like a tourist of known origin.
You liked the regions of Bosnia, Romania. Why?
– In total, in Bosnia I was only once, a few days, but intensely, the day used in full swing, each night hundreds of kilometers away from each other. The Balkans is geographically Europe, but historically it's a bit different , a cultural melting pot, some "smell" of the east. On the whole width you can see mutual influences, Greek, Turkish, Roman Empire but ethnically preserved endemicity, which resulted in the last conflict and disintegration of Yugoslavia. Romania is the same, another group of languages, the remains of the Greek Istropolis. A lot to write, all this is the usual fascination with the exotic, which is relatively close, at your fingertips, more accessible than India, Nepal or Asia in general, where you probably need much longer preparation.
What is attractive about the photograph you show? … because we know aesthetics, a relative thing.
I do not know the answer, it would be better to ask those who notice something in it, maybe there will be an online activist who will write something right underneath. But good – phenomenality! This year in Romania, for the first time, after several trips, often crossing the same route, at the summit in hazy, almost invisible Rodniańskie mountains, after a while this fog began to gradually fall, but so literally, descend! If someone threw a handkerchief, and it was slowly falling, it was amazing to see how the peaks are discovered , and then Pietrosul Rodnei (the highest peak in the Rodni Mountains in the Inner Eastern Carpathians in Romania – editorial note) showed his power … I have this mountain in several versions, from different perspectives and after several trips, but this time something even apocalyptic. Anyway, in the picture it may look a bit like a sail or a boat that emerges from the sea, only that the fog in this case. Sometimes a bird flies over a complete grassy wasteland, but this wasteland is illuminated by the "inter-sun" sun and you have to do it and then show it to someone, minimalism, and yet – reflection.
You can read on your fan page in the context of the "Documents of the place of the bus stop. Antithesis of identity "- can you develop it?
Because, in general, I am anti everything that is right and correct, and I have suffered so seriously for a few years of panic fear of the word photography! Anyone who finds a right direction or passion in photography, it begins to flaunt on the face and in general on the site, a logo in the style of "somebody photography" while the photos are small , it may be unnecessary regrets, but I think that you need to work out a lot self-criticism or raise the bar so high, so as not to put "flowers" bearing the said logo. People will go on a trip to the most exotic country, do an exhibition and cut, they are already a photographer, no craft, no preparation, no history, no idea at all, but they were there, something snapped, the exhibition also passed, let the ground be colorful and done over a long distance. So I'm antithesis. Returning to this description, it is probably brief, concise and clearly written, that it is the documentation of the places where I was, written in a form that can somewhere smack of artistry, but such a shot, I hope that more reflects the fundamental meaning of what is on image.
You are a member of the DOCUMENTARY group. On the radio Rzeszów you talked about the group exhibition. What does cooperation with people like Michał Drozd give you?
Knowledge! both theoretical and resulting from his vast experience. I am convinced, however, that working in a group gives mutual support and a reliable look at what we do, that we can talk, discuss what we are working on, without fearing criticism and listening to it and thanks to doing something only better. Everyone in this group has outstanding achievements and even better pictures, but some do not know why they are afraid to show them, and these are really very good paintings depicting everyday life in a unique edition. Everyone has a beautiful story to tell, everything can be seen in the photo, that they are not some photo-walks and outings to pop the scene, only the material resulting from many years of observation, which is proof of the direction in which the author's sensitivity is directed. Each of the "documentaries" has many insights that complement each other and the group is and becomes even more powerful knowledge, experience in the broad field of visual arts as well as psychological and sociological methods of perception. And Michał is the founding father in the field of photography, indeed, the stager, which can be easily checked and verified, he gathered a group without club and anti-affiliate "outcasts" and it will surely pay off. We did the exhibition, which was a prelude and cross-sectional material , showing the scope of each individual possibility, what we will be working on now, hopefully I will be interested in several galleries and centers conducive to this field, and I mean both the tool used, i.e. photography, and the topic I believe that it is and will be highly reflective. Podkarpacie, along with its capital, suffered little from the lack of space for publication and exhibition for local authors, heavily involved in the issues that are happening here, with us, I am disappointed that the places intended for such creativity often boils down to exhibitions of champions, shouts through mainstream wizard media, completely forgetting about the involvement of the environment from here, which is also successful and has publications on the international arena.
And what about individual exhibitions? I understand that first a fancy New Year's Eve, then 2018 full of challenges?
New Year's Eve in silence, without firecrackers, in peace, I hope to sleep. It will also be necessary to meet student affairs, exams, last semester, defense of the master's thesis which will also be a dissertation on the subject of the image, photography – its perception and where it is completely different from its reception when we do not know the context. I also wrote in a few places, I sent what I have done so far to possible confrontation with others, to check, to see where I really am. And then, if anything goes wrong, wait for possible proposals of the exhibition, so that you do not want to throw yourself and feel no disappointment from the lack of response . And, above all, to pursue the "goals" that we set ourselves with the "documentary" group.