Joshua Jensen-Nagle | Artist Q & A
Bau-Xi Gallery is excited to present Dreams and Journeys, a new series by acclaimed photographer, Joshua Jensen-Nagle. We sat down with the artist to ask him about his latest series and learn about his ever-evolving process.
Bau-Xi Gallery: Ten years later, you are returning to photograph sites from your first architectural series. Tell us about your interest in revisiting these locations.
Joshua Jensen-Nagle: My work has evolved over the years. I wanted to bring a new life to the subject and add a fresh look and feel to the work. Originally, I photographed most of these locations in SX-70 Polaroid. The imagery was soft, blurry--all veiled by a dream-like haze. In revisiting the sites, I used the latest in digital cameras and have created crisp imagery, so that the viewer is able to walk right into the photographs as if they were there themselves.
BX: Past European images were “smokey” in their finish, as though we viewed the scenes through a fog—what has changed about your interpretation of these places that demands this new, “sharper” image?
JJN: In revisiting my early polaroid series, which evoked a distinctly nostalgic feeling, I wanted to approach this new body of work with a more modern perspective, to parallel working with a digital format camera. Everything is brighter, crisper and fresher. I intentionally over exposed most of the images to give a euphoric feel.
BX: What are the conditions of your ideal shots?
JJN: The ideal condition for these shoots are midday, when the shadows are minimal.
BX: This series features iconic sites of worship such as the Pantheon, the Western Wall and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. What do you find inspiring about these sites?
JJN: Each and every site has its own history and attracts people for different reasons. Whether it be to pray, to marvel at its architecture, or even its existence. The human interaction is what interests and inspires me to photograph these sites.
BX: Which aspects of your practice do you feel have evolved the most noticeably over the last 10 years?
JJN: I would say almost every aspect has evolved in the work that I make today. For me, the most noticeable shift is that I used to be able to travel with a backpack, carrying a few Polaroid cameras and film. I could walk around easily, taking photographs in any location at my own will. Now I have a 14ft tripod, and heavy digital camera gear. I need to secure permits for each location, months in advance. The whole production has become much more intricate.
Dreams and Journeys will be on view at Bau-Xi Photo (350 Dundas St West, Toronto) from April 14-28. Join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, April 14 form 2-4pm.