Woman Crush Wednesday: Marcela Ferri
Interview by Ayna Musayeva
I looked through your website and realized that the first projects are different from Hybrid-normalization. What is the reason for such a huge change? Or.. do you think that all the works are related to the same story?
That’s an interesting statement, I don’t see much difference in the core subject but there’s definitely an evolution in there, I can give you a bit of context behind the body of work you saw.
From since when I was a small kid raised by the Tenenbaums I always had the urge to recreate reality as it was, and still is, a very difficult thing for me to swallow.
So the idea of bringing a bit of magic to everyday situations is something I can’t avoid.
When you look at the first projects in there you will see that everything comes with characters and background stories, everything created by me.
The connection between that and the people portrayed in Hybrid-Normalization is that, in this case, they are the ones creating magic and I’m allowing them to share their background stories, together with their ideas of ideal future through my eyes.
The same way I wanted to bring those early fictional characters and places to life taking the viewer out of the mundane to a different world, in Hybrid-Normalization, I want to show amazing, beautiful, talented, inspirational people who are considered minorities and, most of the time, are under some sort of threat or pain for thinking, living or being different than what the male dominant normative society impose on to us, bringing them, and when I say “them” I include myself in this equation to the same level as everyone else, again giving the viewer access to understanding a world society sees as different.
Why did you choose this medium for your idea?
Photography allows me to be a bit invisible and shooting on film allows me to be more present.
I really like the idea of watching people building their own mental narratives when looking at an image, is extremely interesting to see what comes out of people’s perspectives and references about a subject, a series or a single image.
I remember when I first showed “I’m still here” in London, a lot of people there didn’t know my face so I was walking around the exhibition and listening to what they’ve had to say and I found that particularly special and also a great way to get some honest feedback.
With Hybrid-Normalization I have a few videos in the making as well, the idea is to, when I decide to make an exhibition with this work, have those interviews supporting the photography as those videos are telling the stories of a lot of people I’ve been collaborating with through the years.
How did you find your subjects for the project?
I wander around a lot and many times I end up in clubs on my own where I meet a majority of the people you see in this series, but this happens more in London and LA because I know the cities well and where to find people but the dynamic changes in other places.
NYC, for example, I went there specifically to attend a ball organized by the Gay Men Health Crisis organization, but knowing that I would be there for a couple of days I started my own research of other places to go surrounding the gender/queer question.
I didn’t know a single person in that venue and ended up getting to know stories, and people whom I developed a relationship with so I can carry on my learning and documentation of their lives.
Barbs, one of the drag performers you will see popping up a lot in my stories, for example, is someone whom one day out of the blue came to me in the park asking for help with a deflated boob. I remember saying “I’ll help to adjust it inside your dress but I’m not gonna blow it”, and that was it.
It can be random or carefully researched, it really varies.
1. Describe your creative process in one word.
2. If you could teach one, the one-hour class on anything what would it be?
Respect through empathy, I think a lot of people need to learn a bit of that especially when thinking about the current political scenario.
3. What is the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
Not the last one but the first name that comes to my mind is Trois vies et une seule mort from Raúl Ruiz.
But my main inspirations come from Stanley Kubrick’s perfect symmetry, Wong Kar Wai’s dramatic use of light and camera, Wes Anderson and Jean-Pierre Jeunet bold colour palettes, and quirkiness.Charles Shoulz and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry also play a main part as big influences in everything I create.From Peanuts self-defeating stubbornness or admirably determined persistence to try his best against all odds till The Little Prince’s perplexity with the behaviour of grown-ups
4.What is the most played song in your music library?
La ritournelle by Sebastian Tellier
5.How do you take your coffee?
Decaf with coconut milk, all organic… yes I’m one of those people...