Imaginary road trip without destination: a photography co-project

This is a project I made together with Mike Ross again.

As ever I start with thanks. Thank you, Mike, for bearing with me!

At the end of our first project was a phrase “to be continued” and our communication really continued after a short break. We didn’t think about concept much, we just chose form and explained to each other some rules or to put it better – lined out a route. When we were discussing the project Mike wrote that he likes driving his car, listening to music and smoking cigarettes. The word music met my eye and we decided to add music to our communication, so to base our dialogs on images as well as on music. For me this communication looked like a road trip without destination during which we kind of turn on a radio and were sharing images from our thoughts or memories. These images stood still and were captured as they were. They are frozen moments of the past, still lifes of our lives.

P.S. It’s good to look and listen at once but it seems I can’t put audio here (not premium), so I just add links to the songs to make it easier for ones who dare to listen.

Mike: All Cats Are Grey – The Cure

I called this All Cats Are Grey, a song by the Cure. I was going for Jesus Don’t want me for Sunbeam with a brochure of a hand for a play about Jesus but ironically the sun was too bright for that shot. And a few feet away was this beautiful statue in shadow and I couldn’t resist.

Alena: In absence of light – Raison d’être

The track I heard was so sad and the image had this clear line between dark and light, my eyes easily slipped out to the dark part and I was lost there. So, I chose the track with the name “In absence of light” and I made a light painting of an empty lantern which doesn’t enlighten a thing.

Mike: Hit Me with Your Best shot – Pat Benatar

I found this candy package at the park and thought it was an amazing coincidence (Lucky Lights!). I tried different apertures and different metering and ended up taking over a hundred shots. After I left I thought the box would have been more interesting if I crushed it so I went back and it was still where I left it, leaves and all. I thought about different songs but I think Hit Me with Your Best shot is the right choice.

Alena: Who’s Tyler Durden? – The dust brothers

I didn’t know what to cling to except for the word “hit” and this story that Mike came back and broke this box. And it’s again an association connected with the Fight club. Yes, it was ordinary soap with a cucumber smell, not from human fat.

Mike: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

I told Alena that all her still lifes and a lot of her stories seemed to be about loneliness and for a while I keep thinking: “All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” So I photographed these peppers and after she sent me one about Fight Club I knew it was about another group of lonely people. I remember the unnamed Narrator went to 12 step meetings just to have somewhere to go. So since we are both Beatles fans I named it Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Alena: You’re lost little girl – The Doors

I chose this track because of the first line of the Beatles song Mike mentioned: “It was twenty years ago today”. I started to think what was 20 years ago and back then I was a child at the age of 9-10, I don’t remember clearly what was wrong but I often felt and I still feel lost that’s why I remembered this song by the Doors.

Mike: Back on the Chain Gang – Morrissey

My feeling is that I have mood swings all the time, sometimes they last for an hour sometimes days. And when I get depressed its like I’m a prisoner of my mind and I just have to wait it out. I had this little figure for a while, its part of a set of prisoners with shovels and few prison guards. I filled a bag with pine cones the other day and used them for rocks. On the top left is a guard but I shot wide open so he’s hard to see.

Alena: All in your head – Distimia

I thought we are mind prisoners more than our “body is a cage”, and in reality it’s “all in your head”, the only thing we have to do is to realize that we are holding the keys from our prison in our own hands.

Mike: The end – The Doors

It’s just a photo it’s not a statement of intent. I told Alena that she created an image about persistent depression with keys which I’m guessing suggests a way out. My image is the opposite. The book is about assisted suicide and why it’s sometimes the better choice, but not for me.

Alena: Perennial quest – The Death

This guy is just tired of looking for answers to his questions in books and in the opinions of others. I think it’s more about me in my teens. I was listening then to very heavy music, so this song is heavy but it also has a great sad instrumental outro.

Mike: I’ve always been crazy – W. Jennings

Yes it’s a big nut just like me but in a good way. Sometimes I’ll look at something and decide to take a picture of it. Then later I look at it and ask myself: what was I nuts? But the more I get into abstract photography and shooting with very wide apertures I look at things differently. In other words, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

Alena: Breathe no more – Evanescence

Talking about nuts… I represented myself smiling while I wasn’t for many years and I even believed that I was happy. I showed this part because it was the part which was accepted. My sad part wasn’t accepted by anyone. Eventually I got “the difference between myself and my reflection” and I don’t need to pretend anymore.

Mike: Fucking perfect – Pink

I have this pitcher and wanted to use it somehow. Then I started thinking about flowers in there but upside down. I tried several different places but kept getting reflections, finally I found a corner that worked after the sun passed my window. I usually try to get everything perfect so in this one I tried not to be such a perfectionist.

Alena: I want to break free – The Queen

I looked at the roses and felt that there was too little space there for them and thought to myself something about breaking free. As they were in glass I decided to break a glass to let them go. I tried to choose a song with more suitable lyrics but it was all sad and I wanted something more uplifting. This song of Queen makes me dance, what can be more uplifting than that?

Mike: Still life – David Wilcox

I called this photo Still Life after the song by the same name because I like the lyrics, not the music very much. I think the main flower is a gerbera but I’m not sure. I had told Alena in the beginning I’m not good at still life but with her inspiration I managed to pull it off and really enjoyed this project.


19 thoughts on “Imaginary road trip without destination: a photography co-project

    1. Thank you, Brad! Your comments are always special!
      I think you may like it even more if I will tell you that I nailed 40 nails for this shot to stretch the threads!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was admiring the images already yesterday but now I’ve listened to all the songs too. This is a pretty remarkable project. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Not just because there are two songs by a favourite band plus one of my mom’s favourite songs that makes me dance too. 🙂 Tender and inspiring and fucking perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

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