Saturday, 21 April 2012

Long-term projects

Since I’m working on many of them simultaneously and there is often a big gap between the submissions, I think keeping track of my long-term projects may be getting a bit hard for my followers. Thus, I thought writing a post about that could be helpful.
At the moment, I’m carrying five long-term projects, plus one which is just an idea as of now, but which I hope I will start working on soon. It will be quite difficult to carry on, though, as many photos will require rather intimate interations between the models and I’ll need couples willing to do so. I will explain the idea better once I really start working on it.
The others are:

The Infernal Lords. I’m positive everybody who’s been following me for the last couple of years knows what I’m talking about, as I consider it my magnum opus and advertise it quite a lot. If you have missed the presentation of the project you can go here and read it. At the moment, I have done more than two thirds of it and my plans and wishes are to complete it within 2012. With some luck, I think I will be able to do so.
There are plans also for some spin-offs of this project which will be featured in the Evil In The World collection. One, which is about Lilith, has already been made. I don’t know how many of them I’ll be making, as it’s not a really essential part of the project, but if I get some ideas as nice as Lilith’s I’ll surely develop them.

Inspiration Hurts is a series of photos inspired by the music of British synthpop duo Hurts which has turned into my first printed work when I made a photobook out of the photos I had taken up to that point as a present for Theo and Adam. Here is the presentation I wrote for them at the beginning of the book.
Actually, I tend to take many photos inspired by a single band, but for some reason the Hurts-inspired group is quite cohesive and has evolved into a project of its own that has some sort of continuity. Differently from my other projects, this one does not have a set number of photos and I think it will go on virtually forever, as I constantly get new ideas when I listen to Hurts music. The only thing I know for sure is it will have twenty two photos which will bear the title of each song, plus various others inspired by some particular verse, general ideas somehow connected to Hurts music and so on.
As of now, I have taken eleven of the “title-photos” and I have ideas for another eight, while the other haven’t spoken to me yet. I have also taken three verse-related photos and have quite a lot of new ideas popping up in my mind every now and then.

Artpop Generation, a project about Lady Gaga and her music. It follows pretty much the same pattern of Inspiration Hurts, albeit as of now I’m only considering photos bearing the song titles plus some occasional photos that are more of a tribute than an interpretation. I’ve taken Heavy Metal Lover and Amen Fashion so far (plus I Want You Psycho and Just A Holy Fool), but I’ve got a lot of new ideas so hopefully more is coming soon. Oh, and I’ll have to come up with a title too, while I’m at it.

The Murder Ballads, clearly inspired by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ album. This project is kind of on hold at the moment, as I’m more focussed on the others and unsure how to carry it. At the beginning I was supposed to shoot one photo for each song, but the first work, Where The Wild Roses Grow, turned into a mini-series of its own that follows the narration of the song. I think the other works will follow the same pattern, as most of the songs would be impossible to fully express with one image only. This in turn makes it more difficult and demanding as it will really require a lot of work and preparation and I’m not really sure I feel like putting so much effort in that direction now. Anyways, we’ll see what happens next: I may even consider keeping it on hold until I’m done with the Infernal Lords.

• The Aégis Collection. This was actually my first long-lasting project, which I started the day I had my very first photoshoot with my own reflex camera. Nevertheless, I’m not sure if I can really consider it a real series because it isn’t actually one. I shot Poppæa and Angélique independently and then Aœde (they even received their titles after shooting, when I noticed they accidentally fit the song), then Siren (which was the first intended conept of the bunch) and finally I was like: “Oh wow, I’ve made half of the album; let’s do the rest!”. Thus, only Cassandra, Lorelei and Venus were actually shot as part of a cohesive series. This is quite evident, as I put much more care in the details so that the photos would really represent the songs, rahter than just fitting them.
With this said, I still really love these photos and I think they work perfectly as stand-alone works inspired by the songs (including the first three); nevertheless, due to my naive approach to the project, I’m not quite as sure if the series works as a whole: that’s why I’d rather call it a collection. I will be completing it with the missing photo - Bacchante, for which I would like to have Briar Rose modelling, but we have to wait for autumn to have grapes, while I am not sure about Samantha and Virago, the two bonus tracks, which aren’t nearly as inspiring as the rest of the songs - and a personal interpretation of the album front cover, but I don’t really know what will become of it apart from standing there in my gallery. The truth is I’m not dying to keep working on it, which is quite clear if you consider that the latter photos, Lorelei and Venus, were taken in February 2010 and May 2011 respectively. But well, at least Bacchante does deserve a photo, after all.

And this is all about my current long-term projects. Despite the lack of effort I’m putting in the Murder Ballads and the Aégis Collection, I’m quite proud for not having really dropped any of them so far. The Infernal Lords are becoming something of a concern as I’m sort of scared to finish them (I know I will feel horribly empty when I do), but completing that project is one of the few absolutely-must-do things on the list of stuff I have to achieve before I die, so you can imagine how important it is to me. Anyways, I find working on long-lasting projects really satisfying, as each step feels like a huge, long-awaited achievement and the excitement before getting to the next is indescribable. I hope you look forward both to my fothcoming project and to the next installments of the ongoing ones, as I promise the works will be worth the wait.

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