I have a good feeling about 2012. It has all the quirks you want from a year – a Friday the 13th (tomorrow!), a February the 29th (leap year!), an excellent Chinese zodiac animal (dragon!) – as well as the distinction of bearing genuine apocalyptic prophesies, which is a bummer if you buy into worse-case scenarios, but which nonetheless gives everyone the green light to go for broke and make the most of the next 12 months. These are exciting times, and I’m psyched to see people make good things happen as the 13 Baktun Cycle winds itself down.
One endeavor I’m particularly excited about is Civil Collective, a newly-launched collaborative effort between five international photographers who together will undertake a series of projects, both on- and off-line, over the coming year. Organized by Charles Guthrie, the collective also includes myself, Jennilee Marigomen, Sasha Kurmaz, and Francesco Nazardo. I asked Charles to explain his plans for Civil Collective in 2012.
Initially, the idea for Civil came about because I wanted to create a platform for a group of artists that I saw as having a certain creative potential together. I am interested in the possibility for each member to produce consistent work together in interpreting different themes and concepts.
2. What do you think these photographers have in common? Did you have a particular aesthetic in mind when you were putting the group together?
I believe that the strength of the collective is in the consistency of the work as a whole, as well as the ability to work together. Individual aesthetic style varies significantly, but I believe each person as a result has something unique to offer the overall body of work.
3. What kind of projects do you have planned?
2012 has a number of pending projects on the table. Without giving it all away, we hope to have a number of exhibitions in the new year, as well as printed works, and the possibility of some collaborations.
4. What role will the photographers play in the conception/execution of these projects?
Each member of the collective is directly involved in the projection of ideas for exhibitions, printed works, etc. We hope to use these shared ideas as a starting point for personal interpretation. We want to individually explore similar concepts before coming together to look at how they were approached creatively. We want to use our differences to explore the ideas we come up with to the greatest extent possible.
5. What do you think are the most interesting trends/discussions going on in photography at the moment? How does the Civil Collective project fit in?
Something that we’ve observed, and try and keep active simultaneously, is a real desire to push out the boundaries of subject matter and stylistic presentation. The internet has allowed for anyone to become a photographer, and we really value that. That’s happened historically at no other time before. We want to continue with that appreciation for freedom, that belief in having no boundaries in making imagery- but with a certain degree of restraint that is inherent to our personal styles and the quality of our work.
CIVIL COLLECTIVE LINKS: