· Interviews ·

INTERVIEW – Ludmilla Cerveny, photographe (Nancy, France) [Interview]

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CxC/ Hello Lu ! To start, where are you now with your hair these days ? (you can find her with a shaved head, a bowl cut …)

Lu/ They’re really long, I believe I have dream hair! To be honest, my hair is growing. I have the worst haircut, like Mireille M if you see what I mean. I like changing it a lot.  actually I use my autoportraits for a project named Identities (http://www.ludmillacerveny.com/1/how-to-face-reality/) to explore the way in which we judge somebody. Because we don’t think the same of “that girl” with a shaved head then when her hair is long, even though her face stays exactly the same.

CxC/ The CxC readers don’t know you all, can you present yourself and talk to us about your work as a photographer more precissaly ? Have you been practicing for a long time ?

Lu/ My name is Ludmila, I’m 23 and I’m studying architecture in Nancy and started doing photography when I was 15. I’ve always been interested in the portraits of people who surround me and interest me. I’ve photographed all my high school friends and a lot of my friends who study architecture with me. I have so many giga octets of pictures on disks, CDs…. sometimes I just dive right back in to have a laugh! What I enjoy the most at the end of the day is the fact I document my life and how I take pictures.

CxC/ When we visit http://ludmillacerveny.com/ we can see recurent themes, can you tell us more ? What are you looking for in portraits or scenes for example ?

Lu/ I’m really interested in the complexity of human psychology. When I take a picture of someone, it often happens that the subjet doesn’t want to be photographed or feels a little destabilized. But surprisingly, the best and strongest portraits I’ve done are of people who are very insecure. Portraiture seems like an important exploration and I think that from now on i’m going to try and not be so distant anymore so I can photograph while observing and not only by “imposing” a white wall to all my subjects. The last series of pictures I took in Paris are like that. Some time with friends that I photographed without asking permision, just like that, while we’re all together. I’m really aspiring to have very movie-like shots.

 My série Je Broie du Blanc (http://www.ludmillacerveny.com/1/blanc/) is a bit like a stroll, on a string, horizon or cloth hanger, outside time and slightly melancholic. I’ve tried développing a narration, the images go two by two, they spread, except for one in the middle and the very last one. In that sense, yes, we are quite close to the série Visages/Paysages where a associate one face to one landscape.

  I aspire taking movie-like shots

CxC/ How and why do you choose your models ?

Lu/ They’re not models, they’re people I love. Or people I’m intrigued by, that fascinate me.

CxC/ Any perticular anecdote you would like to share ?

Lu/ Photography is like an adventure! When Marguerite came over she randomly decided that Julien (my boyfriend) should cut her hair. It gave me incredible archives!

CxC/ You also do video edits, no ? Talk to us about that !

Lu/ Concerning vidéo projects, my boyfriend and I have a collaboration with Carl.M where we make strange vidéos, not movie clips, although there is music in theme, with half abstract half concrete photos. I’m really expérimental with all of that, I’m still a bit lost.

As for publishing/editing I enjoy putting things together so I’ve made myself little books, about 4 or 5 already. I also stumble a lot across the internet to find small fanzine projects I can participate in, so sometimes my photos are actually published.  Apart from that I’ve also collaborated several times with French Fourch, an independant publisher.

 CxC/ If not, what about your news ? After spending your time getting taned, where are we meeting up again ?

 Lu/ At the My Monkey Gallery! I’m about to start my own expo at the 15 super-cool Faubourg des 3 Maisons street in Nancy (http://www.mymonkey.fr/ ). The expo is called Profils because my photos speak of the web and the people I’ve met through it. The vernissage is the 22nd of September in the evening and the expo itself will last until the 30th of October. There will also be videos and a small limited edition publication as well as a free playlist with only 3 featured artists.

 CxC/ Before we leave, do you have anything to say about your use of couvre-chefs ?

 Lu/ Once, when I was in the US, we visited an Amish farm and I threw a tantrum for someone to buy me one of their big black hats. After purchasing it, I found out my hat meant “young man good to mary” and so each time we went past an Amish I was really scared they’d beat me up.

 CxC/ Thanks for your collaboration! See you around !

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