November 6, 2023
LFI What does photography mean to you?
Alisa Martynova: It's almost a mental formation. It's a medium for me to explore and question the world, express my thoughts and feelings towards it, and get in touch with other people’s stories and realities.
Who had an influence of how you developed your own way of seeing?
I am not sure I've ever had any photographic role models, but when I was at school I was very much inspired by people like Robert Frank or Robert Mapplethorpe. I especially like Robert Frank’s book The Lines of My Hand from 1972. Generally, though, my inspiration comes from films and poetry. My go-to place when I feel down in creative power is Jim Jarmusch’s films and interviews. It’s less about the visual approach but mostly about his philosophy in making art, which feels very close to me. For example, I can relate to his saying: “I am a person whose job is taking in a lot of things that inspire me and then somehow creating things that come back out of me”.
How do you develop you visual language?
Usually, I do a lot of research on the topic I would like to work on. I'm curious about knowing various aspects of the subject. I dive into historical, literary, personal, and scientific representations of it. I try to have a personal experience as well. With people, it includes long interviews, with places Iong walks, during which I look for visual elements that could metaphorically and not straightforwardly speak about it. That’s it: I'm looking for symbols that once put together could tell the story.
You said you do a lot of research beforehand, and the complex background shines through your images.
I genuinely love reading about quantum physics and the scientific nature of our world. I like theories explaining how time and space are only a mental construct, and that there was probably never a beginning of time and how it is not linear. The same for space. When I let go of those notions about the nature of the world that seem so regular and almost trivial to pond on, I feel my brain expanding and I feel an incredible freedom that nourishes my creative practice. Changing perspective on “trivial” things stimulates my mind to work on other themes from another angle. It helps me to make connections between phenomena that are very distant at first sight, but then are deeply interconnected at another.
Find out more about her project in LFI Magazine 7.2023. More
...was born in 1994, in Orenburg, Russia. After finishing her studies of Foreign Philology in Russia, she graduated from a photography program at the Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy, in 2019. Martynova is a member of the Parallelo Zero Photography Agency; she lives and works in Florence. More