Photini Papahatzi, Karla Guerrero:”There are differences and there are similarities too”
‘An individual is not distinct from his place: he is that place’
Karla Guerrero and Photini Papachatzi met each other in a collaborative exchange of their artistic communities “The Poetics” and “Postcards from home”. I am trying, along with Spyros Filios, to meet them and learn about all this experience.
Photini, Karla, your collaboration, was about an exchange among members of Instagram communities, from different counties and continents. Is this a new practice or people have always communicated this way somehow?
KG: For me, since I created The Poetics, I wanted to explore the spaces of others through the images that were sent. The Poetics is part of my project “Poetic Space Manifesto” in which I run this “curatorial show” on Instagram. When doing this exchange with Postcards from home in a collaborative way, the intention was to meet new people exploring the theme of “home” and space, with the facilities that platforms such as Instagram can provide.
PP: We live in this amazing era that enables us to create networks that transcend borders, prejudices and barriers. Postcards from home started as a kind of extension of my own research in the concept of home and evolved into an international community of people that is open and at the same time “tied” by an invisible thread of a completely personal sharing. Karla’s Poetic Space Manifesto and The Poetics are works with which I realize the existence of an affinity both in style and content with the works of the Postcards from home community and of course I am excited about this discovery and especially the collaboration!
Are there any differences on the way that photographers approach photography in these different places?
KG: I think so, because the context in which each photographer lives can determine their way of experiencing the space.
PP:There are differences and there are similarities. ‘An individual is not distinct from his place; he is that place ‘writes the realist Gabriel Marcel in 1948. But often he/she “escapes”.
Differences in culture and history are evident in photography. This makes the process more fascinating or what?
KG: Yes, I can see in the images of the community of Postcards from home, images more related to open spaces, such as tables near the Mediterranean Sea, and from those of The Poetics, more interior shots are developed; windows, bedrooms, personal objects.
PP: Yes, diversity is fascinating, especially when it comes to emotions and experiences colored by culture, and history, personal, and collective memory.
What do you think about photography in the age of the internet?
KG: I think it has a balance between good and bad things. The immensity of what is out there shared in “the cloud” sometimes can be overwhelming, but it is also a bridge to meet something new.
PP: I think it is the language of the internet.
This experience is like traveling somehow to the countries via the photos?
KG: My curation with the account was to try to experience the phenomenology (an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience) of space. I guess it could also be like traveling, but in a more conscious way.
PP: Yes, but a journey that is not a touristic one: people’s houses, their stories, their bodies open. It is a journey that you are hosted in all these places.
I think Art is a journey anyway…
KG: A journey of oneself experiences that can be shared collectively.
PP: A journey into oneself with many companions.
In this exchange you had, in this photographic communication, do all kinds of photography have a place or some certain features are needed?
KG: For the poetics was always asked to share images responding to a phenomenological – poetic approach of the space.
PP: Postcards from home is a platform open to all those who reflect and create on the concept of home.
Do you believe that social issues unite people or divide them?
KG: I think people are diverse and have different opinions, and some may agree. So, I am more for the option of being united.
FP: Social problems divide and unite, but I am in favor of respecting this very diversity that creates division.
How these tensions and differences are reflected on Art?
KG: I think it all depends on the social, cultural and historical context, as well as the personal searches of the artist.
PP: In infinite ways. However, I am interested in participatory practices because they have something more unpredictable than self-referential creation.
Karla, Photini, what does photography mean for you?
KG: For me is a way of living. I can’t see myself without doing something related to photography; writing, curating an exhibition, making photos or writing articles.
FP: It is a constant creative relationship with time, with the self and humans.
Is Art universal?
KG: For me art is like an insect covered in amber, and what covers it are all the things that can be said. It can be universal, it can be read, seen and interpreted, but perhaps not fully understood.
PP: Global and universal value. A door like the ones Karla opens in the comments of our collaboration posts.
Study of the space through a phenomenological-poetic approach