Artist: Jouko Lehtola
Publisher: Buenos Books America; Mul edition
I started photography by taking pictures of my friends and of the people I loved. Desire is the essential component of photography for me and I think Jouko Lehtola really had that desire thing going on. You can tell he was really obsessed and in love with all those subjects. Even though some pictures may seem trashy or voyeuristic, there is always sensuality, love and ‘warmth’ in that book. I think very few photographers manage to create an interesting body of work without losing that sensuality. Aside from all those reasons, there is a post-communist feeling (like east opening to west) going on that talks to me, because of my Polish roots. All those bored kids also have a passion for idiocy, alcohol and destruction. On a less extreme scale, I still share and understand their hobby.
Artist: Alan Ramirez
I bought this book in the bookshop where my girlfriend works. I don’t know anything about it actually, apart from the fact that the pictures were taken in Lima (Peru) by a guy named Alan Ramirez (who I tried to Google with no results). It works like a sequence in which people are preparing, cooking and eating a house cat. I don’t know why they do so, there is no explanation with the book. It doesn’t seem to be hunger which drove them to it, nor a ritual or religion; at least, there is no sign of it in the book. Yet the way they proceed is quite “ritualistic”. It sounds like an idiotic ritual to me, like getting so drunk and high you come up with the brilliant idea of eating your own house cat and you can’t remember it the day after. Only the pictures from your disposable camera will remind you of that dark episode a few days later.
Artist: Batia Suter
Title: Parallel Encyclopaedia
Publisher: Roma Publications
My brother gave me this book for Christmas. It speaks to me in a more cerebral way than the two previous books. I included The Parallel Encyclopedia because it feels really close to what I try to achieve with my own work. When I was a kid I wanted to be an archeologist; eventually I ended up being a photographer. For me both are about searching, collecting and rearranging to try to make sense of the world. That’s what I’m trying to do with my work too. Some sort of an eclectic herbarium with a perforated logic that will eventually create a meaning in the future, like slowly building my own mythology and iconography on a life time. That’s why I enjoy shooting fashion as much as food, commercial, reportage or portraits, like trying to excavate pictures from the whole spectrum of “things”.