Interview: Lukas Vasilikos speaks to in[+]frame
(για ελληνικά πατήστε εδώ)
Lukas Vasilikos (b. 1975, Crete, Greece) is a prolific and versatile photographer whose almost obsessive dedication to the medium has helped him create an impressive body of work. He started photography in 2006 and soon became an active figure in the burgeoning online street photography scene, winning various awards along the way. Beside his improvised street photographs, Lukas is also working on a more personal project exploring intimate family life, angst and loss. Lukas is a member of the “Depression Era”, of the international collective “VIVO (street-photographers)” and the “Photography Circle". Furthermore, he has published the books: Su-ture (Gomma Books, 2014), Greek Seas (The Benaki Museum, 2013), Street Photographers (self-published online, 2012), Divergent Kinship, (Vasilikos–Sorovou, Photography Circle, 2012).
-How do you define the kind of photography you deal with and what urges you to do so?
I don’t define the type of photography I am involved in. What I’m trying and I am interested in doing is good photography, without thinking that I have to be engaged with a specific kind of photography. The distinctions of this kind may be useful to schools of photography in order for them to help the new photographer to be taught about the tendencies that have dominated in photography, which he might be interested in following.
-Artistic photography: What does it mean to you?
Another term that we use simply to communicate. I don’t know what Artistic Photography really is. For instance, a beautiful flower or a breathtaking sunset may be considered as Artistic Photography. In this case we should think of another term to define photography we love. Artistic Photography for me is when a creator makes his own world, he sets questions and answers.
-You have mentioned in a previous interview that every country in which you travelled, offered something new to the way you take photos. Do you believe that journeys are an important factor for a photographer’s development?
Yes, during the photography journeys you open up your mind to new images, new landscapes and you become more willing to take photos than you do in your everyday life. I don’t claim that the result is better, you just enjoy the whole process of shooting. And, of course, through each journey you gain new experiences as a human being, which will consequently be depicted in your work.
-In your series of Street Photos we can see greater ease and familiarization compared to the series of family photos. In the second work, the themes seem detached in a way and in stiff or staged posses, obviously. What do you wish to depict by taking photos of your own people in this way? Is there any truth in what we see?
The viewer can definitely see whatever he wishes in every project. My personal view though, is that I don’t feel more confident with Street Photos compared with the family ones. The difference that I could mention between this project and my other works is that it took place within the frameworks of the “depression era” group with what we worked on the [greek] crisis. First, the idea was born and then the photos followed. Undoubtedly, there is truth in what we see. But the truth we see behind photos is just one’s personal case, regarding where and if he sees it and how he/she will realize it.
-In the series ‘’uncanny’’, through an almost expressionistic distortion of reality, we see unnatural scenes, enigmatic figures and the element of mystery, which is very intense, in general. What leads you to explore the ‘’uncanny” element of the human nature?
I think that I approach my photography themes with a mood of transforming the reality without any elements of distortion within them. What urges me to explore the ‘’uncanny’’ element of the human nature is something I am constantly wondering about and searching but I think that it’s the fear of loss and death.
-What elements of your character have you discovered by looking at your photos?
It’s difficult for the creator to see many things through his photos, especially things that have to do with his own personality. Perhaps, the viewer may be able to define the creator’s character through his work.
-Henry Fox Talbot has said that: ‘’a special device could preserve a poetic report of nature under the form of a visual image.’’ Do you believe there’s this kind of visual poetry and furthermore, do you believe that this could be a way for somebody to approach your photos?
Of course I believe so. Definitely, there’s visual poetry, maybe it’s a bit different than the lyric poetry with which we are more accustomed – as we have not been taught throughout the educational process to read or analyze an image. In the end, of course, it’s good to let our instinct see if it likes- or not- a photo or the work of a photographer.
-Where do you think that the work of a photographer stops? At the “click”’ the editing process, or the selection?
A photographer’s work stops when he shares a picture with the viewer, from then on it doesn’t belong to him anymore. To reach this point however, a photographer has previously taken the photo, he has selected and edited the photo, so as to have the result he wants and he has imagined.
-Is there a motto that expresses you about photography?
No, the truth is that there is not any.
>>more about Lukas Vasilikos at lukasvasilikos.com