My name is Irene Cruz, and I am a photographer, cinematographer, and video artist. I’m in love with Berlin’s blue-light and weather, I actually moved here from Spain because of that, even if it sounds a bit crazy. I am someone that can’t live without creating. I love to create little photo-books with my hands, to create electronic music with my tablet, to discuss with others about philosophy and all the ideas that fill my mind, and mostly mostly mostly I love to look at the beauty of the world through a lens.
Video-installation and photography amalgamate in HABITAT to define a favourable Environment, not only for reflection but also for aesthetic contemplation. Through video installation the spectator is invited for the first time to be a part of her work,
therefore, they are also invited to wonder about the relationship between men and nature. As Joachim Ritter suggests, the landscape is a cultural construct created by modern society, which being away from nature is only able to admire its beauty once it has emancipated from the needs that linked it to nature. Nevertheless, the landscape does not exist without a spectator that considers that this piece of nature is subject to be contemplated, the artist invites the spectator to adopt another viewpoint. She pushes the spectator to abandon his passive observer role and to get into nature so as to get his body involved by nature. At the same time, while the body becomes a receptacle of sensations during this aesthetic experience, it is when the body gets into nature when it becomes a conscious part of nature. As the artist claims, our society has forgotten that we are a part of nature, that we come from nature and that it rules over us, those are the reasons why we shall come back to nature.
It is only after this reflection, and after being aware of his body, when the spectator should ace the photographic series. Regarding the series, we could play with the two viewpoints that the author proposes, either contemplating the landscape as a voyeur or to experiment nature as a part of ourselves and our bodies. Since our body, as Marleau-Ponty states, introduces ourselves in what is visible- the landscape in this case- and the body itself becomes visible too. There is a possibility of feeling this perceptive phenomenon- since sighting is inherent in whatever that is visible- through photographs, we must see with our bodies and sense bodies visible with them. The landscape still maintains its emotional character from Stimmug (2013), however, in this case the artist works with male nude for the first time. Nature, man and woman appear in their primitive communion, where the artist is eager to come back. In this reencounter, both bodies- masculine and feminine- are sometimes indistinguishable from one another; in addition, nude bodies and the shapes found in the landscape create a new identity. Nature and body, whose sensuality has condemned them to evolve into creative power for a long time, now recover their vital essence, their instinct, in order to return to life this numb world. The artist creates through different ways a habitat: a place which joins together the suitable conditions to encourage a fertile relationship between life, Art and nature.
(originally published on Singulart Magazine)
How did you find your voice as an artist?
Spending time with myself is important. I normally live in my parallel world half of the time. I’m not scared of failure, what is important to me to create, I believe that nothing we do is by accident. By failing I learn about what I can improve and what I don’t like, which is also important. I love to daydream. I give myself plenty of time to think, to write the things I connect with on a note book. With this in mind, I try my artworks to be a mirror of my inner universe as much as I can.
Could you describe your procedure for a new photo project?
I look within myself, for which I normally start drawing and painting on a notebook the images that appear in my mind. I also write down other ideas that may emanate from the main one. In Berlin it is very easy for me to find the places I imagine.
When I have an initial idea, I ask myself a lot of questions about it, I ask others about their own thoughts. I read about it, and I start a creative process to express it through my photographic language. When the idea starts to be solid, I prepare the shootings. Sometimes I need an assistant, because normally I shoot when its raining, or I am working inside of a lake. Since I work 99% of the times with natural light, I only shoot when light condition is best outside. I feel comfortable in blue-lights, I feel it truly represents the spirit of my work and that is the most important thing for me. If I don’t like the light, I don’t work.
Where comes your inspiration from?
No idea ever comes to me suddenly; it sits inside me for a while until it reaches the surface. I am not sure where exactly my ideas come from. Berlin, and the experiences that I have here really help on that, it is an amazing place to create. It is very important to feeling inspired to go elsewhere: to move away from the city and into the forest. I also enjoy to sit on a plane and disconnect from the world for a number of hours. Train journeys are good. Sometimes I sit on the Berliner ring S- Bahn as it loops around the city.
I observe people; I watch movies or music videos, I read, I think about the conversations that I have. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the imagination that awakens the books that I read, mostly of them, philosophy or sociology of authors like Nietzsche, Simmel, Ritter, Spinoza, Heidelberg, or Sennett. These are some of my favourites.
Which artists impressed you the most?
I am especially fascinated by filmmaker Terrance Malick, I would say that he is my big reference. I love his way of working, his way of telling stories. I also love the work of Mona Kuhn (a great brazilian photographer I follow), Bill Viola, Gregory Crewdson, Emmanuel Lubezki, Lance Acord or Michel Gondry…