Mihai Caranica · Calcaria

Jul 07, 2021

Mihai is a Romanian architect and photographer inspired by his profession. In his series 'Calcaria', Mihai documents a limestone processing plant with its particular industrial aesthetics and muted tones characteristic of dusty environments. These carefully composed images show Mihai's background as an architect in the way that he is constantly looking for the correct arrangement of shapes, textures and light.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

MC - It’s good to be with you. I was born in the seaside town of Constanța in Romania. After moving to Bucharest to study architecture, I've worked in and around the field for the past seven years. I am currently making digital images for architecture. I am self taught in photography and see my work both as an extension to my image-making and also as an homage to human labour and its transformative effect in the world.


am - - How did you start in photography?

MC - A good friend of mine once lent me his plastic point and shoot and within a year I was purchasing my first analog medium format camera.

am - What is 'Calcaria' about?

MC - 'Calcaria' is a roman word meaning lime kiln, quarry or lime works in general. My hometown of Constanța lies within an region known for its calciferous rock and proximity to the sea. It is dispersed with ancient settlements and quarries. Cave dwellings and markings have been found dating back over 6 thousand years. Opportunity arose to document a modern limestone processing plant, from quarry through sorting, to kilns, conveyors and silos. Man-made topology and built structures are tied together in purpose, a pipeline that starts with rocks and ends with a finished product all within close proximity.


am - What inspires your work in general?

MC - My background and training as an architect are the source of my current interests. More broadly and perhaps less directly, cinema also has a big influence.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

MC - I very much like Rasmus Norlander, Joël Tettamanti and Maxime Delvaux's work at the moment.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

MC - I’d be lying if I say I own a photo book. I can instead recommend a novel, Houellbecq’s 'The Map and the Territory', and a film, Antonioni’s 'Blow-Up'.

They are both powerful works which incidentally feature photographers as lead characters.


am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

MC - Great, thank you.

All images © Mihai Caranica


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