Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Viktoriia Dovhadze. Currently live in Lviv, Ukraine. Before I started my artistic practice I was studying German at University. I use photography as the main medium in most of my projects in order to demonstrate and explore the existence of other visible and invisible realities, to make the hidden more accessible.
How would you describe your style of photography? Deconstruction and collage manipulation of images in order to reject the real meanings and objective shapes of the real world by using abstraction, collage, the presence of ‘accidention’ in photography or fragmentation. For monochrome photos I use mostly the reverse method by transforming them from one state to another, in detail - I get new images from my own videos and photos by reshooting them in different ways with different options.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? When I was 15 I bought my first analog camera Zenit. Almost everyone at that time was shooting on film, which was in a wide access and cheaper than now, and of course, there is no need to talk about the quality of photos. It was that case when you use the camera only as a documentation tool and nothing more, I wasn't even thinking about doing photography. I was endlessly searching, deciding what I want to do in my life, ignoring that little hint. Until two years ago, when my boyfriend's camera got into my hands. It had some technical damages so the shots got very interesting, thanks to some very interesting unexpected destructive effects. I was then when I realized that this camera would be perfect for me.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? I have had a very interesting relationship with cameras, starting from my childhood. When I was a little girl I hated other people taking photos of me. I was always running or hiding somewhere, sometimes even crying or yelling when my parents were trying to take a shot. I felt myself irritated for some reasons so almost on all my childhood photos I look like a little angry devil. The thing is that these relationships are almost still the same. I prefer to be that one who stays behind the camera. I am prizing emotional impact over technique, I like to observe things from different angles, to see the images speak for themselves. I prefer to listen rather than speaking and don't understand when people are trying to put everything into words.
What inspires your creations? The bodies of others, both physical and metaphysical, the must-involve into social relationships, tragedy, despair - disturb me. People and objects always hide the possibility of metamorphosis into something else. Like lines on painters canvas, they can lose their real content, by connecting with or passing through each other, contrast, absorb or expand the values and symbols hidden in them. Poetry has also a big influence on what am I doing and how I feel this world.
What kind of camera do you use? I use a Canon G12. With this camera, everything has started and I think even if I will have an opportunity to buy myself a professional one I will still keep using it.
What's your editing process like? Mostly I work in Photoshop. Sometimes it takes time because working with collages, for example, means to try a lot of opting with one single photo, but it is very interesting for me to see how far can I go modifying them, the final photo can become unrecognizable from the original one. And of course there are cases when photos do not need any editing: I am talking here about deconstruction and accident in photography when I can`t predict the final result.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? My favourites photographers are Floris Neusüss, Masao Yamamoto with his delicate black-and-white photographs, André Kertész, David Lynch and Michal Macku who presents heavy themes of anxiety, depression, self-hate, and self-harm reflected in naked human forms. If talking about Instagram: @boris_camaca, @cristina_coral, @carlota_guerrero, @kostis_fokas, @naraphat_s, @polkurucz, and two Ukrainian artists @elenasubach and @dima_tolkachov.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? The dream itself, I think. I would like to penetrate into my dreams, to take the position of a watcher and film everything that I've seen. I let myself perceive the world around from a different perspective. I think that all worlds are imaginary, we just have to choose in which way to see and feel them. All the other places we can explore and gain at any moment and all of them will show their beauty, which is amazing, and I hope to see most of them.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? I don't have such kind of preferences, but I like an early spring. In that time it's good to take black and white photos, the snow is melting down and everything arise in its nudity: the city, nature.
The coolest place you've ever been? I think it was Portugal, all those amazing times when I met the ocean. Two times, first in Porto it was raining and we had a very long way to the beach by foot. We got there at midnight and it was my first time seeing the ocean, at that moment I realized the whole power and depth of this creature. The next time we were getting to the beach at night, walking through the forest near the highway in total darkness, the wild dogs were following us. We decided to spend a night on the ocean side sleeping in a tent, when we got there we couldn't see anything but the sky and a lighthouse, but when we got up in the morning we felt all that beauty around us.
Find more of Vika’s work at any of the following links!
deletehiddenimage.tumblr.com (my project in residence: Sorry, we have no rooms available, Uzhorod. Ukraine)
lastminutesbeforeclosing.tumblr.com (Black-and-White Photography project in Mychajlo Dzyndra`s Museum of Modern sculptures. Ukraine)