Tag Archives: Perspective

Artist Feature: M’hammed Kilito

I first met M’hammed Kilito while we were both exchange students at the same university in Buenos Aires, Argentina a few years back. I knew “Moh” would often travel around the city with a camera in hand, and he continues to push this visual medium in new creative ways today. His photographs highlight interesting and seemingly ubiquitous mechanisms and ideas to tell stories of reality – for example, one series that caught our eye is grounded in reflecting on and responding to the prevalence of digital and mobile cameras in public space.

M’hammed’s feature is filled with inspiring and critical thought-provoking explorations from a perspective informed by a global experience. We’re excited to see what’s in store with his future projects, including a visual ethnographic analysis of traditional Moroccan garments and cultural globalization. Lets dig in!

M'hammed Kilito

I think that Reflection and Response are two interconnected words that can’t exist one without the other. It is a circular cause and effect relationship we go through all our life, because the response we have today isn’t necessarily right or suitable tomorrow.

– M’hammed Kilito

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MK: I’m from Morocco, but I was born in Lviv in Ukraine. My parents got scholarships to study dentistry there and it happened that I was conceived during that time. I’ve been raised in Morocco’s capital Rabat, an extremely beautiful city on the Atlantic coast that often people miss visiting while touring the country, going instead to Casablanca, the city made famous by the movie directed by Michael Curtiz, or Marrakech, the most touristic city in the country. Once I was 18, I moved to Spain for 2 years before moving to Canada. In 2009, I had the chance to go for a university exchange to Buenos Aires, Argentina and it was definitely the craziest trip I have done after Burning Man.

I was fortunate to live in different countries and to learn many languages, but it really makes answering the question where I’m from not an easy task at all.  All the cities where I lived have a special place in my heart. In each one of them, I had the chance to meet some wonderful people that had a huge impact on me and contributed immensely to shape the person I’m today. I really believe that we are, to some extent, the product of our socialization.

Roy

Tram

Old Woman

TriangleV

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MK: Those two words mean everything to me and to all of us actually, they are our everyday reality, there is nothing we can do without reflecting and finding responses. I think that Reflection and Response are two interconnected words that can’t exist one without the other. It is a circular cause and effect relationship we go through all our life, because the response we have today isn’t necessarily right or suitable tomorrow. The most intelligent and creative people I’ve met are constantly reflecting on who they are, what matters to them, what should they do next and how they should do it. It keeps us going further, improving and becoming better persons.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

MK: Reflection is a homograph, a word written the same but has two meanings. “… I am a reflection photographing other reflections within a reflection. To photograph reality is to photograph nothing.”  Those words are not mine, but those of the great American photographer Duane Michals. I think people often misunderstand the function of photography, they think they are photographing reality while the response in my opinion should be that the function of photography is to reflect reality and imitate it with authenticity.

Untitled

 

Untitled

 

Untitled

 

Untitled

If I push myself to define the kind of photography I do, I will say that the conceptual framework of my photographic series usually follows two distinct axes. The first, focuses on the boundaries that define reality and illusion, in which I create the moment by staging the photographs. The second axis, is more within the documentary tradition, I play with various contexts to tell stories and explore new ideas, and instead of creating the moment, I seize it.   

Chien

What else have you been working on recently?

MK: I just finished a project made of two series I called Homo photographicus. Through these two series, I explore the transformation photography is going through at this crucial moment in the history of images. I ponder over the role of digital and compact cameras’ proliferation, their incorporation into mobile telephones, and the influence of the internet and social networks on today’s photography practice.

Initially, this project wasn’t planned at all, the idea came to me the day I purchased a wide angle lens and decided to go to the Montreal botanical gardens to try it. Thinking to shoot the impressive living plant sculptures they have there during summertime, I ended up being more interested in the people taking the pictures of family and friends in front of the sculptures, so I turned my lens toward them and started working on the Homo photographicus project right away. A few weeks later, I went to The United States, France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco and I kept going to public spaces to photograph people taking pictures.

The first series is an illustration of how cameras are everywhere in public spaces. I’m not interested in saying it is good or it is bad, but I observe that it became increasingly difficult to photograph a scene that doesn’t include an individual who is also taking a photograph.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Insectarium

The second series is a reflection on the influence of social networks on photography. Social networks focus on spreading their use by staging intimacy as well as providing the ability to see without being seen. These practices have contributed to the popularization of certain types of photographs, such as the selfies. So I decided to contact and photograph my friend Céline AKA the Selfies Queen who has more than 300 selfie pictures.

Selfie 2, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 3, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 5, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 7, Digital, 10x10

What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Naïmah

I had the good pleasure of meeting Naïmah at a local coffeehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn a couple weeks ago. A Washington D.C.-based singer-songwriter, Naïmah is currently working on her own EP, writing songs for a handful of other artists, and playing shows in the DC and New York areas. We’re happy to welcome her to the Collective as she discusses her understanding and application of Reflection and Response, the creative process behind her song Wolf and I, and various other topics. We’re looking forward to a lot more dope work from Naïmah in the months and years ahead! Check out the dialogue below.

Naimah

Support each other. I’ve witnessed too much animosity in the art world, especially jealousy-driven. Everyone has their own gift, their own individual way of looking at something, and at the end of the day, no one can replicate that.

– Naïmah

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

N: I’m from Washington, D.C., and after going to boarding school in Boston, and college at USC in Los Angeles, I’ve made my way back to the District. A bit surprising to some, as I’m emanating those California vibes “for sure”, but it’s nice to be home and planting my roots and growing where I first got started.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

N: Within the harmony of those two actions I find the creative process at its best.  The thing about art as I see it, or at least how I approach my music, is that it is always a response to a reflection on a moment, a person, a feeling, and so on.

Whether I realize something is on my mind or not, songwriting helps me navigate through that process of reflection, and to figure out just how much that subject meant—or means—to me.  Each song is me saying, “This is my response about X. This is how I feel.”

And the incredible part is when that individual reflection and response, my response, captures the way someone else might also feel in their own reflection, or to allow them to see their feelings in a new light.

It’s hard to make this intangible transaction into a tangible explanation, but I hope that all makes sense.

How does ‘Wolf and I’ fit in with that definition? 

N: It doesn’t get more “reflection and response” than in Wolf and I. Well, it does, but prior to writing the song I’d been in a phase of day-dreaming and imagining and writing songs based on these scenes I made up when, after a trip to New York, I was headed back home on the bus, feverishly free-writing in my notes on my iPhone (let me say how restrictive auto-correct and that little screen is) as I attempted to capture how I felt about the events that had just occurred, and all the moments and experiences making up my relationship with this particular person and situation.

Wolf and I is a love song in its most basic interpretation, but I think the fact that it’s really so much more than that below the surface is why people have been able to connect with it. It’s about perception, the way you look at something, the good and the bad all at once.

Wolf is a simile I used to describe someone and something both close and distant, endearing, and in the process of change; and Wolf and I was my reflection, my attempt to articulate, all these thoughts in some kind of compact organization that I could store them in.

Since writing the song, I’ve opened back up to the realization of how important reflection and response is, and how my songs come to life when they are created in this frame of mind.

Photo by Alexandra Howland

Photo by Alexandra Howland

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Snapshots From The Collective

Ralphs is Closed! by Sarah Ballister

Ralphs closed!

Reflection and Response.

The Snapshots From the Collective series works to create a space for Reflection and Response through photography. ANYone who wants to contribute ANY photos to this project can email us submissions at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com. One photo will be posted each week, and photos will only be used for the purposes of this series. Thank you and we look forward to building and expanding the Collective!!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Snapshots from the Collective

Porto by Sarah Ballister

porto

Reflection and Response.

The Snapshots From the Collective series works to create a space for Reflection and Response through photography. ANYone who wants to contribute ANY photos to this project can email us submissions at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com. One photo will be posted each week, and photos will only be used for the purposes of this series. Thank you and we look forward to building and expanding the Collective!!!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: