Born – Book presentation and Exhibition by Manuel Moncayo
#AnInterview. Manuel Moncayo is one of our favourite photographers. He’s about to celebrate 3 years of his online diary with the release of a brand new book and an exhibition that will take place in Berlin this month. It was for us the perfect occasion to sit down and catch up with Manuel about his new project.
KALTBLUT: So, it’s been 1 year since your last exhibition in Berlin, Instinct #1. What have you been up to since this time? Manuel: After the exhibition I decided to work by seasons, producing material for months without looking at it, and later spending time on the desk making mental maps and selecting files that fit to them. My last production phase started some months ago, I was invited by Thierry Smits to take pictures of his performance called Anima Ardens which was a beautiful experience, spending hours at the theatre looking at 11 male dancers. At the moment I am also preparing for a new exhibition celebrating 3 years of the publishing of my online diary, which is the project that I owe everything to.
KALTBLUT: W.O.W. You’ve been pretty busy. This experience with Thierry Smiths was something new to you right? You’ve been doing in a way some reportage photography where you’ve been there several days with the dancers, shooting them doing their thing as you said. They wouldn’t pose for you. How was the all experience about being just a viewer? Manuel: As you said, the reportage was something new to me in therms of “naked guys” and also because this piece represents a high value in culture. The idea of being just a viewer and taking what was mine without directing brought a lot of freedom to the process and therefore the pictures transformed into a highly inspiring material.
KALTBLUT: Would you sometimes get disappointed in the process because you’ll couldn’t get a specific pose that you wanted to have? Or as it was just an observation, I guess something could happen very quickly where you’ll missed the shot, would you then feel kind of frustrated about it. Would get “scared” to miss something as it happened live and you couldn’t control it? Manuel: I have been working at drag queen shows where everything is quite unpredictable, the light changes, the people move fast and you have to be really quick while taking pictures, especially because I like to shoot without flash, and of course there are moments that are gone before I can even click, but I don’t panic, part of my process on taking pictures is enjoying the making, and in any event there will always be something new to shoot.
KALTBLUT: One thing about your pictures, I think, is the colors. It is so beautifully done. So I guess the time you spent on the post production must be quite something. Do you actually enjoy the postproduction process as much as the shooting act? Manuel: I do not work a lot on postproduction these days because I got engaged on the final look, so I have modified how I take the pictures instead.
KALTBLUT: You’re about to present your new book, within an exhibition. Could you tell me a bit more about it? Manuel: I’ve been co-working with the photo editor David Dörrast. The idea of the book is to present a universe of what I’ve been photographing for the past 3 years. He decided that we should create the pages with images on top of each other, creating a new language with their arrangement. The process of the book helped me understanding my own project and vision, almost like an essay.
KALTBLUT: That’s actually quite a beautiful storyline for this show. You also working on some special set design for this exhibition, right? Manuel: Indeed, the fact that for this exhibition I am not working alone has created an interpretation of my work. And in an attempt to create an atmosphere more than making emphasis on the prints or the book themselves I will include video, audio, and design objects like wallpapers.