Interview – Nina Perlman

Hey Nina, welcome to WB, so you are currently studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art, can you give us an insight into your University life and what projects you are currently up to?

Life at MICA is pretty busy these days. I’m graduating in December, so I’ve been working on my thesis. Alterity is a sort of study of the semiotics of poetic language. The meaning of a poem is formed contextually, in the way individual words bump up against each other. I’m applying the same logic to the way I arrange my images, re-contextualized into sequences and “stanzas.” I’m also working on a book that dives into a recent obsession with scaffolding. It’s a mix of photographs, scanned drawings, lithographic and letterpress prints, and a bit of writing.

 

 

 

 

 

Your work is very natural and fluid, how are you taking your pictures, do you have a pre planned process?

I don’t really have a specific process when it comes to the act of photographing itself.  I wish I was one of those people who makes images every day, but I’m not. I’ll travel somewhere, or go home to New York for a weekend and shoot lots in a short span of time. I’ll work for a few weeks selecting images, editing, sequencing and re-sequencing, until I figure them out. I’m a big believer in letting the work dictate its own meaning. I also read a lot, which is a big part of my process.
 

 

I think the first image in the series ‘The difference between Poetry & Prose‘ is my favourite, where was that taken? 

The Difference Between Poetry & Prose is the work I completed last summer in San Francisco, during a residency at the San Francisco Art Institute. That image specifically was taken in the courtyard at SFAI.

 

 

 

 

 

You have done your fair share of Artists in Residence and internships, what are the most useful things you have learnt thus far from them?

Each residency was an opportunity to be influenced by a new place, and a new group of people. I’ve grown tremendously from the friendships I’ve made, and since my process is very intuitive, a change in situation is a way to shift my own perspective on the work I’m making and how it relates to the work I’ve made previously.

 

What purpose does your collection of images on your blog serve? 

My blog is kind of a public sketchbook. I post recent images, or sequences I’m “testing,” and I post a lot of quotes from things i’m reading. Sometimes I feel like I post more quotes than actual images, but I like using it as a bookmarking tool and a record of my thought process.

 

How do you get inspired?

I’m always reading and researching. I follow a lot of blogs and art & photo magazines, but my library is primarily art theory texts and books on linguistics and phenomonology.  I just finished Draw it with Your Eyes Closed: the Art of the Art Assignment and I’m currently reading Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses, a book of essays dedicated to each of the 5 senses. Also on my nightstand I have Positioning the Art Gallery: the Amsterdam Gallery World in an International Context, Metaphors We Live By, and the Failure volume from the Documents of Contemporary Art series. I’m hoping I’ll have time to make it through all of them this Summer.  I read with a pencil in hand, ’cause I always absorb things better when I’m marking up the page, and anything I read ends up finding its way into my work in one way or another.
 

 

 

 

Ever been to The U.K?

Once when I was 7 with my family, and again as a weekend trip when I was staying in Paris a few summers ago .

 

Where do you see yourself moving with your practise once you have finished your degree?

I plan to take a little time between undergrad and graduate school.  I want to try living in a couple different places, make some new work, and get a sense of my practice outside of the context of school.  I’ll probably try to do some editorial work as well.  Eventually, I’d like to teach, but I would also love to work in photo book publishing or at a museum. I think I’m still in a place where anything seems worth trying.
 

 

 

 

 

www.ninaperlman.com