London-based photographer and artist Sofía Sacomani is a recent graduate from Camberwell Collge of Arts. Her work juxtaposes film photography, screenprinting and other analogue methods into her art. We talked to her about her practice and the reasons for choosing these processes.
Hi Sofia, tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a visual artist from Argentina based in London. I first moved to Europe in 2014 and since then the camera became my best friend. I bought my first film camera in a flea market during one summer in Mallorca, it was supposed to be a present for my little sister and I decided to use it until I could see her again. I still have the camera, and I have also seen my sister numerous times after that. I use film photography as the first approach to create my artwork. My practice is heavily process-based and strives to challenge common understandings of perception through the mix of printing processes. I am interested in understanding the act of looking and what is the role of memory when seeing the world around us
Your work embodies analogue methods, you shoot with film and use screen printing within your work as well. What draws you to use these methods above others?
I think film photography grounds me to reality. There is a lot of spontaneity and a million factors influencing when taking a shot, which you are not able to predict, but there also has to be a sense of awareness that I think we lose when we are capturing things with digital cameras or phones. The process of printing fascinates me: for me, it is like bringing alive a moment in my head and being able to leave a mark which gives me the power to make it ‘my moment’ and let other people see it their own way.
We tend to separate photography from printmaking as two different practices, but in my view, one can not live without the other and through my practice, I try to blur the boundaries between them. I like the spontaneity of analogue processes, there is always something that can change the final result and through mixing and challenging these traditional practices I embed the work with their own physical memory: they transform from images in the past to objects in space.
What kinds of film do you shoot with and what types do you prefer?
At the moment I am really into pocket cameras, they are also called spy cameras and they use 110 film. They are super light which makes it easy to carry everywhere while making me feel like a spy in my own world. I am quite classic in terms of color as I will transform the image with processes during printing, which makes me always shoot with the Orca in B&W or the Tiger in color. I like these ones because they come with some random marks along with the film and they are also super grainy! I also love getting double frame and double exposure shots with 35 mm. I found the Berlin Kino B&W film my favorite for B&W because of the tones it produces.
Would you say there is an element of serendipity within your practice? Do you think these analogue methods enhance that effect?
Yes, I think you’ve spotted the right word. I am interested in what is lost while transferring an image and what arises from that process. Let me say there are not always happy accidents, working with experimental techniques is not easy and you need to be very constant and confident about your work or fortune can lead you to a million possible outcomes. I think these analogue methods do enhance this sense of serendipity while also embedding the work with a sense of nostalgia.
What’s coming up in the future?
I have just graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with an MA in Visual Arts Printmaking and I am now looking for a new studio space where I can have both darkroom and screen printing facilities. I have two upcoming exhibitions, I will be at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair during 7th to 12th of November and at Clifford Chance Printmaking Exhibition from mid-November until the end of December. I am also working in a duo exhibition for October where I will be showing some new experimental work along with another artist with a very sculptural approach to image-making. In terms of practice, I have been recently experimenting with scanners and inkjet printers and after a lot of trial and error, I am starting to get some interesting outcomes on steel and aluminium. I am very excited to so see how all my new experiments come alive together!