JUKEBOX OF DREAMS
AN INTERVIEW WITH RAMONA KANDINGER
Originated by the philosopher Jacques Derrida, deconstruction is an approach to understanding the relationship between text and meaning. Ramona Kandinger uses her photographic work to do exactly this, yet between image and meaning. Her work focuses on how construction simultaneously poses deconstruction, especially in the digital age of today. Photography is more alive than ever, so she argues. Her work is as intriguing of said deconstruction.
"Could you start by telling us a bit more about you and your work?"
My name is Ramona Kandinger, I am an Austrian artist living and working in Vienna. The haptic experience in creating my work has always been my focus and passion. During my studies of Textual Sculpture with Heimo Zobernig at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, I developed the sculptural aspect within my photographic work. In my Instax work, I treat the layers of the photographic material like a sculpture in space. In my self-portraits, I use my body as material.
"As a mixed-media artist, how would you define the limits of Photography as a medium? Or the limits of any medium for that matter?"
To me there are only technical limits to any medium. The limits of creation are non-existent to me. I bend and abuse an image until it has reached a state of fulfillment to my wish.
"Your work focus on construction and deconstruction. Could you tell us more on how you intent to do this when producing your work?"
The construction: pick up the camera. The deconstruction: take a picture.
The urge of creating art overwhelms me like the feeling of intense hunger. I then feel a strong urgency to start the process, while being guided by my unconscious self, which always leads the way. I enter the artistic process with no intention or goal in regards to the outcome. I tend to produce a lot of material at first, and only afterwards do I evaluate, select and recombine or treat the material again. The deconstruction of the material is the sculptural process, by adding and subtracting, I create the final shape and form. I use my body in a similar fashion. By painting myself, I subtract and highlight specific parts, and in the photographic process I create completely new sculptures of myself.
"Do you agree with the statement 'Photography is Dead'? Could you elaborate?"
Photography has never been more alive than today. It is the medium of collective representation, with digital cameras on every portable device. The technical quality of an image is dependent on the machines creating it. But it is the individual making the choices that may lead to artistic quality. Photography is not dead, as long as there are people taking photographs.
"Looking to the future. Where do you think Photography is headed?"
Photography used the be a witness of reality, but it is more and more becoming the visual representation of the photographer´s wishes. As cameras on smartphones incorporate more powerful algorithmic image manipulations, eventually entering the realm of AI assistance, any photograph can exist independent from the reality it was made in. Photography will be a wishing device, a jukebox of our dreams.