"At the Sea" by Inês Marinho

Jan 25, 2018

Inês is a young Portuguese photographer who creates fascinating narratives inspired by memories and storytelling. In her series 'At the Sea', Inês follows the story of her grandfather by mixing current photographs with those taken by her granddad when he was a fisherman back in the 40's. The result is an entrancing narrative about love, discovery and nostalgia, which shows us a beautiful way to connect with the life of our ancestors. Following we present an interview that we had with Inês: am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us? IM - Thank you so much for having me! I am Inês, I am from a small coastal town in the north of Portugal. I studied communication design in the fine arts school in Porto and after some time working in the field I took a Masters in professional photography at IED in Madrid. I am currently developing a personal project in Kristiansund in Norway at an art residency run by the Nordic Light Festival. Part of this project will be exhibited at the beginning of February in their gallery. am - How did you start in photography? IM - I was interested in photography from an early age, but I started in a more serious way when I was taking analogue photography classes. For me, it was about the magic that happened in the darkroom. Then when I was living and working in Sofia as a graphic designer, my favourite time was before and after work when I could document life in and around Bulgaria. I figured out that I should just keep doing it and that was when I decided to take a Masters in photography in Madrid. am - What inspires your work? IM - Nature, the sea, memory, mystery, storytelling in general, cinema and literature, people’s stories and their relationship with their environment. am - What is “At the Sea” about? IM - At the sea is a project where I explore my grandfather's life and our hometown. I never met my grandfather João, who was a codfish ship captain and I was always very curious about his life. Some years ago, my grandmother found my grandfather’s diary from the late 40’s and brought it so my sisters and I could read it. He wrote simply and beautifully about the life at sea, about feeling so hopeful sometimes and so pessimist about life at other times, about feeling unsure on how to spend one’s life. “Será esta a minha vida?”(Is this the right life for me?) he wonders in one of the entries. I could relate to a lot of things he wrote. I also read about his fondness for photography, which made me guess that I got that interest from him. This project is an attempt to search for my grandfather and to rediscover the town where I grew up. After several years living far away from Vila do Conde, I started spending more time in my hometown. The motivation for the project comes from contradictory feelings of nostalgia on one hand, and on the other, a willingness to discover this place, to return to my childhood, to find “home”. I started exploring the town at dawn, while it still sleeps, enjoying the moments when the public places are free from people and noise, and the air is filled with mist. I go near the sea and the river, places that were always appealing to me and where I can observe the boats and fishermen arriving from the ocean. Likewise, Vila do Conde’s history originates in the river and the sea. Its port was an important harbour during the Portuguese discoveries dating from the XVI century. In this way, I also explore my grandfather’s life. I sit at his desk, I read his diary, I hold his captain’s hat in my hands. I look at the photos he took in the middle of frozen seas. I take his Canon AE-1 - the last camera he used - and I join local fishermen for some fishing nights. This series explores the feeling Milan Kundera displays in his novel Nostalgia, where he explains the etymological origin of the word. “The return, in Greek, is called ”nostos “. “Algos” means suffering. Nostalgia is therefore the suffering caused by the unsatisfied desire to return. am - How would you describe your visual language? IM - I think it’s very intimate and nostalgic. I always try to get the analog details on the surface, I like the film possibilities: its “mistakes”, its grain... am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists? IM - Sophie Calle, Tim Walker, Saul Leiter, Alec Soth, Philip Lorca Dicorcia, Wim Wenders, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky, Eric Rohmer, Fernando Pessoa, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood (and many more). am - What are your main interests as an artist? IM - In general what attracts me to photography is its process, trying to figure things out, to look further, to discover more about me and what’s around. am - What’s your favourite movie? IM - It’s too hard to pick just one… Persona (Ingmar Bergman), A Single Man (Tom Ford), Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders), Beginners (Mike Mills), Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski) I am Love (Luca Guadagnino) am - What is your favourite photo book? IM - Did you see me? - Sophie Calle Hustlers - Philip Lorca Dicorcia Belongs to Joe - Casper Sejersen am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine. IM - Thank you :)

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