Talent 2014 Q+A: Jan Rosseel

Who or what have been key influences in the creation of your work?

I am not sure who or what has influenced me in general, but there are a few people I find very inspiring. I  have always been inspired by the work of architects Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. They are both quite different, as for Koolhaas I am intrigued by his intellectual approach to architecture and even though Zaha Hadid’s work is also very intelligent, the aesthetic value of her work is what I am most interested in. The apparent simplicity of Anish Kapoor’s work makes it possible to appreciate for anyone in a wide audience, yet there is enough complexity for the viewer to reflect on.

As for visual influences, I would say that the movies by David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Wong Kar Wait and Kim Ki-Duk inspire me. Also paintings by Caravaggio and Francis Bacon.

Generally I get most of my ideas during walks or when I am in the shower, so I try to take as many showers as I can get.

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If you had to describe contemporary photography using an analogy, what would that be?

Contemporary photography is a lot like cooking. First, you gather all the ingredients and then start to reduce and combine it until you have the right flavor and consistency. In this same view, there will always be some room for new ways of presenting a certain story with the same ingredients. Sometimes it takes time to get used to a specific flavor.

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What advice would you give to emerging photographers?

Stick to what you find interesting and do not worry if a story has been done before. Make as many mistakes as you can. Talk about your work with people outside photography to get new insights. Talk about new projects and even future projects. This is a good way o get to the core of a project and to make the idea clearer for yourself.

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Describe a normal work day… Could you describe your working space and its atmosphere? Examples?

There are two kinds of normal working days, even though they are always different.

If I have an assignment for a magazine, I am normally out on the road, doing a shoot, and then going back to my studio to scan and edit.

On other days I do research and work on personal projects and exhibitions. My workspace is generally quite organized and clean, except when I have a lot of things running at the same time. Then my working space looks like it has been bombed for three days straight. Those moments I try to use all the space I have and divide the room into different segments. One for each project.

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Due to an overwhelming number of photographers having problems submitting to the website, we have decided to extend the Talent Call deadline until March 14th, 9:00 am CET ! Hopefully, this will give you plenty of time to finalize your submissions. See the post below for contact details and once again : Good luck! 

Due to an overwhelming number of photographers having problems submitting to the website, we have decided to extend the Talent Call deadline until March 14th, 9:00 am CET ! 

Hopefully, this will give you plenty of time to finalize your submissions. 

See the post below for contact details and once again : Good luck! 

To all Photographers thinking of submitting to the Talent Call, read this carefully :

Here are a few tips for submitting your work, according to the recurring problems some of you have had with the website & in case we are not in the office to help you :

-          First, please double check the Terms & Conditions 

-          Then, try different browsers to the one you are using

-          If it still fails, try this link : http://fcbkapp.nl/apps/FOAM2/

-          As a last resort, send your submission file via Wetransfer, to magazine@foam.org, and we will send you a paypal request for the submission fee.

Because of the time differences, we may not be able to reply before the deadline. However, all submissions sent before the deadline (00:00 PST) via wetransfer will still be considered. So don’t panic if you do not hear from us before Thursday, 9am CET

Last call for submitting you work! www.foamtalent.com

"The idea of presence within the photographs, wether its presence of some unknown person or presence of myself, is pretty central to the work. There are no figures in the photographs, but I think the way the spaces are constructed and light, implies the presence of someone."

Find out more about Ross Sawyers, 2013 Talent, and his work in this interview made at the Unseen Photo Fair 2013.

Don’t forget, there are only two days left to submit to the Foam Talent Call