Jun 08, 2016
Urizen is a self-taught Spanish photographer currently based in Berlin, Germany. His work is mainly experimental and made with Polaroids. Emulsion lifts, interventions and bacterial degradation –as in the series presented here– are part of his artistic creations that explore topics such as memory, emotional experiences and distorted realities.
Following we want to present the great interview we had with him:
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
UF - My name is Urizen Freaza, I’m a self-taught filmmaker and photographer. I was born in Tenerife, Spain in 1982. Since 2010 I’m based in Berlin, Germany.
am - How did you start in photography?
UF - I got my first reflex when I turned 18. The results kept frustrating me, so I slowly gave up. Then I got a Lomo camera as a Christmas gift from my sister, and as it was a toy, I stopped worrying and just shot photos. This gave me back the joy of photographing. Then at college, one afternoon procrastinating for an exam, I found a crappy Polaroid camera in a marvelous second-hand store full of cameras and musical instruments. I shot some Polaroids and the back of my head exploded. This was 2005. Then I discovered the community at polanoid.net, which was blooming with feedback and artists, and I started taking photography seriously.
am - What inspires your work?
UF - Everything, you never know. A conversation, a book, a movie, a video on youtube…
am - What is the series “Bacteria” about?
UF - ‘Bacteria´ bases on an accelerated aging of photos understanding them as material objects. The portraits of the series are subjected to the same chemical process responsible of the rotting of meat, by sinking the negative in it. The chemicals produced during this process attack the protective layers of the film and react with the pigments which conform the picture. This reaction leads inevitably to the destruction and disappearance of the photos. The series is a documentation of this process. In this sense, I use those portraits as a superficial definition of the person, of his/her identity, so that the rotten picture turns into an index to nature. The series proposes the discussion of a person’s fragility and transience. It’s the perception of a specific state which is condemned to change. Despite this, we are offered the possibility of finding hope in the beauty to be discovered during the course of destruction.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
UF - Right now, Garry Winnogrand, Joan Fontcuberta, Roger Ballen and Phyllis Galembo.
am - How would you describe your photographs in 3 words?
UF - Colorful, tactile, unclean. But maybe that’s rather how I wish it’s perceived.
am - When you are not taking pictures, what do you do?
UF - I work as an engineer and help organizing the AnalogueNow! photo festival (www.analoguenow.com)
am - What are 5 things you could absolutely not live without?
UF - That’s a difficult question. For honesty sake, one of them would have to be pizza, but I’m sure that’s not what you mean. I couldn’t live without my SX70, without my Polaroids, without my film. That would be a typical answer. I can’t tell if it’s actually true, or I would find some other tool to use.
am - If you could travel and stay in a place for one year, where would you choose to go?
UF - Las Vegas, must be like living on an alien planet.
am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment?
UF - I’m a huge fan of Die Antwoord.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
UF - 'Dead man’ by Jim Jarmusch.
am - What are you reading at the moment?
UF - I just started 'On the road’ by Kerouac, which makes me sound like a damn hipster. I was just curious.
am - Gin, vodka or tequila?
UF - I’m a rum person, but if I must choose, then vodka.
am - Your main unanswered question in life?
UF - 'How is this going to end?’, like the song.
am - Do you have any project in mind that could be a personal or professional challenge?
UF - I’m working on a new series without a title yet which includes knitting crochet masks for strangers. And I can not knit yet, so there’s the challenge.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.