Saturday, April 4, 2009

Conversation : Bevis Fusha

I am posting another conversation which I had with Bevis Fusha recently. Bevis Fusha is one of the most interesting photographer of so called " New Europe", coming from Albania Bevis has witnessed and reported the slow and complicate change of his country. He has focus his work in different social aspect also experimenting concept topics. He also represented by Regina Anzenberger Agency. Again as for Max Sher I do like to speak about photographers who can develop and see something different in the countries they are born, something that is for many photographers quite challenging.
Here the conversation with Bevis:
DM: You are perhaps one of the few who could translate the last historical
period of your country into photographs although you were born in a
photographer's family what were the most difficult thing to face when you
start to take photos?

BF:I grew up in the dark room of our small apartment in the center of Tirana.
I spent my childhood in the corner of the room, under the pale red light
impatiently waiting for my father to finish his work so I could leave and
play outside with my bike. My interest in photography started in the
adolescent years. Actually, during those year, photographing people
seemed boring and very ordinary for me, something that anyone in the world
could do. Our house was always filled with ORWO films, Kodak slides, 35
mm cameras, medium format, large format, photo papers, dryers, solvents
and everything else that was in the function of the image. My father,
Besim Fusha, was one of the best and most valued photographer of his time
and I would like to add that he was one of the most intelligent who had
the ability to unintentionally serve the communist regime this way
providing for his family by using a 50 mm objective and a Practica ML.
During that time I found my self looking at images more, and looking means
a lot, more than technically viewing the camera. What I can say is that
aroun 1995 I started using Canon F1 camera and I found no difficulties
getting used to it, meaning technically. It was part of the family.
Taking the camera in my hands, professionally, was natural and happened
very quickly.

DM: I believe you have a good numbers of projects done, my favorites are
"A slow motion death" and "Isolation" although I do like your "color" approach in some other projects.
What make you "think" in black and white and in "color"?

BF:Photography is a multi dimentional and flexible generator of my life. My
educational relationship has been connected to the camera. It has taken
many years for me to create a powerful visual language. The camera itself
has become an expressive tool these last 10 years, to present events that
are connected to the society I live in and are of genuin interest of mine.
In my begginings I used color film because I felt that with black and
white I had already created a close relationship to the point that it had
become personal and familiar. Coloristic memory was very important as a
shortcut of humanistic association.

DM: How you see photojournalism these days?
BF:In a way it is interesting. I believe that the colective interests of the
photographers have been transformed in an uncontrolled organic process.
Personal and individual interests are those that attempt to keep
photojournalism unaffected. There will be advancements in the technical
distribution of information in a world thatis getting smaller and there
will be attempts to break away from regulations set by the predecessors.
There won't be any avanguard changes unless the old system can be
infiltrated. The difficulty is in the fact that all media is influenced,
it is very obvious. Almost all publishers, authors, amateur or
professional have an agenda, a mission. There are no more people who do
something with naivety. It seems that naivety has been burried in
primitive centuries. Any agenda, is either spiritual, religious,
political or corporation, or a complicated combination of these elements.
The worst scenario is when it is all the above, where photography many
times willingly or unwillingly becomes a manipulated searvant. I think
that a triumphant formula for the future would be a sensitive subject
presentation with a perfect esthetic-visual storytelling. Photography has
always been a good way to allow the viewer to interpret the inside of what
he/she sees. Each person takes what they want from an image and in
successful cases, all of us take away what we should. The goal will be
achieved by hyperbolizing the core.

DM: I would like if you speak more about Albania and how mean to work
there and what is going on.

BF:My photography is not specifically connected with the geography of places,
even though my major contribution is in Albania, the place of my origin
and where I currently live. I have been and still am an outside vision of
reality, a wanderer. In each journey photography flows as an element of
my presentation. My id is untouchable. It remains with me and exist as a
result of my logic. In journeys photography holds a second place. First
of all there is my facing of the world, and then what I learn, which feeds
my photography. Distances and spaces fill me with fear, photography helps
me familiarize myself with what I learn and leave behind. Such
photographic observation comes instinctively to me. It is traces of my
childhood that come back in more mature steps, as the years go by. In the
beginning, when I entered the media market, I was looking for my fame and
name, but nowadays, my motives are different. I am a spectator, a
messenger, a murderer of the moment that tries to give life to eternity. I
feel that my duty as a messenger is to continue forward and be as
invisible and unimportant as possible. Motivation, determination,
patience, curiosity and the truth are some elements that keep you attached
to the photographic image. The photography that I capture is often
anti-television in its structure, in an attempt to oppose the enormous
indoctrination that TV is feeding our lives, by transmitting to us news
and images that have a superficial meaning. Albania has a small number of
photographers, therefore "my war" takes on a sublime meaning. Also, I
prefer to believe in the uniqueness of things in life. Nothing can be
repeated in a photo, even when moments are recreated. I don't discover
the importance of the photo at the moment of capture, but after, while I
feel it as it is. What photo can be created as absolutely perfect? On
the contrary, what is not photographed is what contains the DNA of the
absolute and perfect. I have doubts of the rightful moment of an image.
I think that values in time are clearly understandable in the hundreds of
seconds and achieve their importance in their solitude. Of course there
are ceses when I go back to subjects and follow them for some time, for
other interests, and I never find the same situations, there is always a
continuous movement. Also, it should be kept in mind that I use
photography to document something, I do not attempt to be an artist and I
do not worry to find the specifying category. I don't believe in the
elite, but the individuals. The Albanian society has surprised me with
its paradoxes, with completely medevial phenomenons that would make it
noticible in all Europe. I think that it is a good place to further study
what awes me. I want to be a witness of what I see and all this is also a
question to myself and to what I share with my photography. I worry of
what I will leave behind to the coming generations, I don't know how to
respect the present but the future and I am a fanatic visionary.
Photography has the most universal and primary role in communication,
something I use and want to go deeper in. I still have faith of the value
of photography and always will. I would like to be absolute in this.

DM: What is your next project ?
BF:I am working on a project that will be quite boring and will have also a
boring exhibition. It will be the capturing of very ordinary, unimportant
places for anyone, almost places where nothing happens, but hide a
dimentinal path, a gate toward death. This is a project that is distant
and I have overcome some difficulties that have forced me to slowly work
on it. Maybe I won't be able to finish it in the time I have set for