Interview, Ibai Acevedo -
Experiencing Different Realms
Ibai! Are you looking for a utopia?
It could be possible, yes. In other words, in my pictures, I realize that I’m constantly trying to create parallel worlds where the atmosphere and the feeling are the keys. The middle point between reality and fantasy using light and colors as vehicles to reach those scenarios.
A number of your recent images revolve around the dimension of dreams. Do you remember the moment when these dreams became a medium for you to express artistically?
I use my fascination for dreams to inspire myself during the creative process. Dreams are a completely subjective trip to nowhere that makes us realize how our mind is a huge unknown maze where get lost in it. I rarely can drive my dreams as other people say they can do, I’m just a victim or a spectator of them. Despite my bad skills as the pilot of my own dreams, I find this kind of mysterious fantasy so much more inspiring than common reality. Traveling to places without leaving your bed and wake up in the next morning like “wow, I thought I was there…”. So that’s the thing, many of my pictures want to stay “there”.
What is your approach towards exploring the subconscious and unconscious aspects of your mind?
I try to chase sensations rescued from dreams and altered states of mind: Moments of pain, moments of joy, … the constant search and pursuit of “that something” turns into my fuel.
Does that ever leave you to encounter a great amount of self-imposed isolation? I see that a lot of your images have their subjects experiencing something like that.
It’s curious because I consider myself a very social person, I really need the love, the laughs and the company of other people. However at the same time, I’m aware of the other side of my moon, and in this other side lives other Ibai, deeper and lost than any other. This is where I experiment with my sensations and creations, where I drop my fears and wishes. Isolated characters in the middle of strange lands are a recurring element to illustrate this inner exploration. This could be as simple and complex as the typical phrase “Yo have to get lost to find yourself”.
Such confrontations can be exhausting. Is meditation becoming the medium for you, or is it the catharsis through art?
The word “meditation” is written on my skills wish list, but I would choose the option “catharsis through art without so much bohemian drama”.
Now, can you bring us towards how you create the immersive imagery? What is your process like and what’s the post-process like?
The word that comes to my head is “Imagine”. I mean, my process is based on pure experimentation trying to show through pictures all the imagination that fills my mind. Despite the nice words, as a photographer, I have to deal with real things, real persons, real places… and find the way to turn all this reality into what my imagination is chasing for. I always try to work thinking about possibilities instead boundaries. So I don’t have any problem if I have to lie in some way, I only want to transmit to the person in front of the picture.
Like I told you, I have a few friends from Spain and I have felt their spirit to be of great sensuality and receptivity, of music and dance. How do you think that enriches or affects your perspective, and, your expression?
We are the product of our culture and environment, so for sure! As a latin human being born and raised in a small town near Barcelona I think that I have a lot of strengths and weaknesses related to that. For example; I think that all the priorities in life, all the warm and visceral part that lives in me, the general doesn’t match very well with the classic Nordic thinking stereotype. However, at the end everyone is a unique product from a very different and complex combination, so obviously you will be able to find a horrible Spanish lover and a great German tango performer. Everything affects without determining.
What form of expression is the most total for you?
Music and cinema are the fields that most connect with me.
Before we come to the last question, can you share with us a book or a story that you have been the most transformed by?
I don’t have key pieces in my history, what I have is a lot of small satellites that build my personal galaxy. I would tell you to hear the disc “A Year of Hibernation” from Youth Lagoon lying in the grass with a loved person during a spring sunset, the film Boyhood to think about the pass of time and happiness in life, the book “Cuatro Amigos” from David Trueba, The War On Drugs latest album “A Deeper Understanding”… Many little stars that inspire me in my own path.
Lastly, what would you share or suggest with other photographers?
I would say “Don’t stop doing what you most like to do, keep pushing, keep getting lost because its there where real amazing things emerge”.
Interview with Ibai Acevedo