Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Josef Koukelka Interview


Koudelka, Spain, 1971

Not quite Rodney Dangerfield in 'Back to School' and proving that you can always teach an old dog new tricks, James Pomerantz is keeping us well informed over at A Photo Student where he's sharing his crazy college knowledge with the masses.

He just posted THIS interview with Josef Koudelka, perhaps my all time favorite photographer. Koudelka is held in such high esteem amongst so many, perhaps because he sacrificed everything to seek his soul through his journey in photography, hoping to 'find a passage from the unconscious to the conscious.'

His photographs bear witness to this journey and in them perhaps we can see a world somewhere in between those two states: not quite a dream world but not reality either.

Living without a passport, a home, a family or even an assignment and surviving on his wits for almost twenty years, Koudelka lived in his sleeping bag on a diet of milk, bread and potatoes (and presumably the good will of those who know him). He is perhaps the ultimate 'photographer's photographer' or as the Gypsies who he photographed for so long came to know him as: 'The Iconar'.


Koudelka, Ireland, 1971

I have taken great inspiration from Koudelka and of course began my own photographic process as a means to try and understand my place in the world and to use images as a tool to express that: not caring if they are seen but merely that I was there to take them and just to 'be': in the world and of the world.

Sleeping on couches, spending the last few cents on film, shooting and shooting. Very quickly though you realize that your life is slightly different, you are your own person and that there is, in fact, only one Josef Koudelka.

Thankfully.

Cheers James.

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