Interview #61: Aleksandra Kojic
CUS: Did you study, or are you studying, photography? If not, how did you learn?
Aleksandra Kojic: Nope. I learned a lot through trial and error, and a few books . A couple of years ago, I spent half of an afternoon listening to a course on photography. Got bored out of my mind, so I just snuck out with a friend.
CUS: Tell us a little about where you live. How does your city/country/current location have an affect on your photography?
AK: I live in Belgrade, Serbia. This is not a very beautiful city in general, but there are always lots of great things to do around here. Some really cool people live here, too. However, it’s good for your health to leave it from time to time, and then come back.
CUS: Who, or what, is your biggest influence?
AK: My little sister, Tamara. She’s this energetic, amusing, hard working hamster-like creature. She’s also a prospective bon vivant. But, she can be really annoying sometimes. We still need to work on that attitude of hers. And I shouldn’t forget to mention Howon Lee, or else I’m in trouble.
CUS: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
AK: One banana, and a cup of coffee. I’ll eat more later.
CUS: What makes a good image?
AK: I don’t know. I hope the next interviewee could answer this for me.
CUS: What are you favourite local hangouts?
AK: I enjoy spending time down by the rivers, especially in the summertime. I’m still on a prowl for a place where you can have lots of white wine while practically laying down, or leaning back enough to be able to take a casual nap.
CUS: What are five things you can’t live without?
AK: 1. Clean environment
2. Adequate supply of water
4. Nutritious food
CUS: Tell us about the people in your photographs.
AK: All of the people in my photos are my close friends or members of my family. I think most of them prefer not having a camera in their face, so many of my photos were taken while walking behind them.
CUS: Do you believe that with the rise of digital photography the phrase “everyone can be a photographer” is true? What are your thoughts on digital vs. film photography?
AK: Everyone really can be a photographer. It’s not rocket science. And if that’s what people want to do with their time, I think they should go for it. Personally, I prefer film. There is much more excitement for me in waiting for the negatives to be developed, than in spending hours retouching one out of seven hundred photos you took that day. It’s also great when you forget about a roll, and develop it a couple of months after it’s been shot.
CUS: What are your thoughts on photography and the Internet? (For example, mass amounts of images being uploaded every day via sites such as Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…)
AK: There are many pros and cons to this. I love having access to this much photography. On the other hand, I’m not so fond of seeing my photos downloaded and reuploaded, uncredited.
CUS: How do you differentiate "art" photography and "non-art" photography?
AK: I really don’t. It might be better to leave it to everyone to define their own work. For example, I don’t consider my photographs to be art. I don’t even consider myself a real photographer. Still, my photos get published in magazines and books, and sometimes even hung up on gallery walls.
CUS: Do you think that the Internet (as opposed to a gallery or any other art institution) is a legitimate place to showcase photographic work or do photographs have to be seen in "the flesh" to be fully appreciated and experienced?
AK: It probably is.
CUS: What are your favourite books and films?
AK: My favorite book is “Haunted” by Chuck Palahniuk. I love most of his work. This one in particular is made out of twenty three short stories about violence, homosexuality, desperation, social distastefulness, disease, murder, death, and existentialism. Love it.
CUS: If you could photograph any person (past or present) who would you choose?
AK: I would go back in time to 1947, and take photos of Marlon Brando. At this time he got refused for a part in ‘Rebel without a cause’, so he must have been feeling a little down. I’d give him a shoulder to cry on so he wouldn’t think I’m after him for his looks only. He’d be just a tad freaked out at the beginning, cause I came from the future and everything. After a little while, we’d fall in love.
CUS: What tips would you give to get out of a creative slump?
AK: Whatever it is you’re making your art with, put it down. If it’s a camera, shove it in a drawer and forget about it for a few days, or even weeks. Travel a little if you can. And chill.
CUS: What advice would you give to your fellow up-and-coming photographers?
AK: Honestly, I would advise them to do a bit of reading. Just enough to make you aware of what it is you’re doing with your equipment and what it is you’re trying to get. Perhaps just read the camera’s manual, for a start.
CUS: What are your plans for the fall?
AK: “My future’s so bright I get a tan just thinking about it”. I’m off to London soon. And then, I think I might be moving. I actually have no idea what will happen.
CUS: What do you hope to achieve with your photography? Do you foresee photography as a career in your future?
AK: I’m just trying to catch some meaningful moments so I could remember them later. Selfishly enough, I keep more than a half of my photographs to myself, without showing them to anyone.
CUS: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or exhibitions?
AK: There might be an interesting book coming by picturesoflily.se
CUS: Our last interviewee, Sid Black, asks: Talk about your favourite camera. Where did you get it? Where have you been with it? Why is it your favourite?
AK: My absolute favorite is an old Russian Zenit-11. I don’t even remember how I got it. It’s probably been laying around for decades now. Despite of how heavy it is, this camera’s been everywhere with me. I love how it makes you stop for a bit, think about what you’re doing and then shoot. It broke a couple of weeks ago.
CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask the next interviewee?
AK: What makes a good image?