Rites of Spring - 2015
Rites of Spring is a narrative photo series on coming of age, inspired by concepts of the Australian photo artist Aliki Smith.
The idea originated when Aliki and I were both nominated by Film Shooters Collective to team up and create new works inspired by the respective team partner. This so called FSC Challenge connects photographers from around the world and encourages them to interpret the works of their fellows and to explore new territory.
I found this new territory in many aspects of the creative process: the choice of films, for example. Although the final pictures of the series are all in black & white, every single frame was recorded in color, either on negative film or on slide film (see captions). More specific: three pictures were shot with expired Ektachrome film that subsequently was cross-processed in order to increase contrast, before it was scanned and digitally desaturated. It was this hybrid workflow, using analog and digital techniques, that proved to be challenging - and rewarding. In earlier works, when I wanted to get a black & white picture, I simply used panchromatic films, not color films. For Rites of Spring, however I changed the workflow and used a variety of color films because they all render color in a specific and different way - leading to visible nuances in the resulting greyscale images. Also, the different gradations of negative and slide film show up in the final pictures.
Aliki's works inspired me in yet another way: in earlier cinematic productions I relied heavily on the use of artificial light since I wanted to be able to control it as much as possible. This time, most pictures were made with available light only - which proved to be much more challenging, as it cannot easily be controlled. You just have to take what you get - and work with reflectors if appropriate. The absence of artificial light was especially complicated in frame 12, "Confession to Self", a double exposure that was made in a rather dark room. Lena Naomi Krebs, a formidable actress, twice had to sit still for a long time in a quite uncomfortable position. We were lucky; it worked very well.
In the meantime, one picture of the series was featured by Vogue.
Location: Chorin Monastery
Cast: Lena Naomi Krebs