November 25, 2008

peter engblom: E-Mail Interview with PHOTOGRAPHIE Magazine – Germany 2005

Filed under: peter engblom,photography — ABRAXAS @ 10:44 am

Q: How would you characterize your photographic style?

A: At the moment I find myself creating photographic lies. The “Zulusushi” work is based on the fact that ethnic identities are basically constructions that we are swindled into believing. My pictures are constructions of events that never took place.

Q: What inspired you to mix elements of the Zulu-culture with elements of the Japanese Culture?

A: I fell down a staircase and the story was inspired by a series of voltaren injections in the backside.

Q: What role does your character Mpunzi Shezi play?

A: Mpunzi Shezi discovered mount Japan in 1911. He took Ubuntu to the Buddhists, taught Zen to the Zulus, studied tantric sex with the geishas and taught his dog to meditate so that he didn’t have to bother with the difficult task himself.

Q: How important are sexual topics, like bondage, for your work?

A: Mpunzi Shezi appeared to be equally interested in Buddhism, bondage and bonsai.

Q: How did the European visitors of your exhibitions (Paris Photo) like your work.

A: I have no idea, you will have to ask RoxAnn or Rolf at the OMC gallery. People bought lots of the pictures if that is anything to go by. Here in South Africa, the response has been fantastic. About a quarter of the visitors actually believe my lies but then they are probably the same people that believe that politicians will make their lives easier and Father Christmas lives in Lapland. All sorts of important people buy the pictures and hang them in their houses. I am continually amazed and amused.

Q: How do you create your pictures? Are there any special techniques?

A: The pictures are basically collages with the edges blurred to make them more realistic. Each picture is planned and the different pieces shot separately. The Japanese models are a real problem as there are very few oriental people in Zululand. I sometimes photograph Oriental hookers while Im traveling. I have never been to Japan. There are lots of Zulus in Zululand so that’s not a problem.

Q: How important is Digital-Photography for you?

A: The Zulus continually steal all my equipment so I now just use an old twin lens Yashika to take my snaps. I have the negs scanned to get them into my computer.

Q: What are your “photographic-plans” plans for the future?

A: I recently discovered the diaries of King Jika Jika who was her majesties inspector of paranormal activities. There appear to be 3d pictures of ghosts and UFO’s taken in Jamaica, St Helena and Kenya. I intend to tear up the album copy the pages and sell them to collectors as “Art”.

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