Nov 25, 2019
Carla is a Spanish multidisciplinary artist working with photography, video and installation, who explores topics such as time, void, presence, absence and alternative realities amongst others. In her series "Ex oriente lux", Carla investigates the legacy of French occultism from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the relationships between stonework and the cosmos in Freemasonry. The result are carefully composed images that depict the importance of stellar objects and symbolism for these currents, which in turn makes us think about a place in the universe and our own relationship with the cosmos.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
CA - I am a Visual Artist from Galicia, Spain who mainly works with Photography, Film, Video and Installation. I studied Audio Visual Communication in Spain and started Philosophy studies. Last year, I finished an MA in Artists’ Film & Moving Image at Goldsmiths University in London, where I am currently living. I am interested in the unknown and what is not reachable through cognitive capacities. This is why landscape and non-domesticated nature is a very important element in my work. Likewise, my work is about deprogramming reality and creating alternative codes that differ from the hegemonic and patriarchal scheme.
am - How did you start in photography?
CA - When I was a child I used to check all the time my old family pictures. Firstly, because I’ve always had a strong necessity to understand my identity, due to many doubts I have about where I come from, etc. Secondly, because I’ve always enjoyed observing things, specially colours and shapes and how they combine in order to find answers and ‘beauty’ in the small things of daily life, answers that are far from the compulsory reality. I remember I was seduced by the textures and colours of those old analogue pictures and by how they showed the real reality, with errors and indeterminacy. In any case, I started taking my own photos relatively late. It was around 12 years ago when my father gave me an old Polaroid camera he had.
am - What is "Ex oriente lux" about?
CA - I did this project during a residency at the "Cité Internationale des Arts" in Paris, where I was investigating the theoretical legacy of some French occultists from the 19th and 20th century, guided by my interest of the invisible face of the existence. This work is my own answer to the historical relationships between stonework and cosmos in Freemasonry. Thus, in this cosmological Big Bang, the stars govern the plane of formation of the material world, also called astral plane. It is, according to the occult sciences, the necessary intermediary for all transformation or movement to happen, the engine of life. In this way, the moon and the sun, which in alchemy has a remarkable significance as well as being the maximum symbol of divinity in theosophical esotericism, are aligned and reflected on Earth.
am - What were you most interested in capturing with these images?
CA - It was about creating my own world-language around all those learnings I had during this year in Paris, allowing myself to be free.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
CA - It is impossible to say. Depending on what I am doing at the moment, I will be more interested on ones or others. At the same time, I can make a long list of artists, filmmakers, photographers, poets, thinkers, or people in general from whom I learn everyday. But trying to be more accurate, I can tell that the Spanish Philosopher María Zambrano is always a very big inspiration for me. Also ,I really love the photography work of Jochen Lempert.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
CA - Also a hard question. I don’t have one favourite movie at all. But I could say “Tríptico elemental de España” by Val del Omar and “Solaris” by Andrei Tarkovsky.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
CA - I can’t say and to be honest I am not very updated at the moment. But now, it comes quickly to my mind “The Great Unreal” by Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
CA - It’s a pleisure. Thank you for your interest in my work.
All images © Carla Andrade