Alejandra is a photographer from Mexico City, her works investigate the relationships between photography, painting and sculpture. For each project Alejandra photographs her interventions to a specific site, working only with the objects she finds in each place. In 2010 she won Mexico’s Photography Biennal, and in 2009 was awarded Photo España’s Descubrimientos Prize for her Photo Sculpture series. Her work had been shown at the New York Photo Festival and at Hyeres Photography Festival in France. Alejandra has been featured in various publications, including the New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, Wallpaper, American Photo and Modern Painters among others.
What did attract you to photography?
I’ve always been passionate about art, and photography felt like the best outlet for my creativity. Since I was little, I always carried a camera around with me, and I think this was a great exercise because it taught me to look at the world in a very specific way. I began to notice all the small details, and see things for their potential as an image. The photographs are an extension of my eyes, my voice, and a reflection of the way that I perceive my surroundings.
Have you ever worked within the fashion world?
Yes, I work within the fashion world through my job as an accessories designer for PANTERA, which is a handbag and accessories label that I started with my sister several years ago. We design, produce and distribute our products in Mexico and internationally. I’ve learned a lot from the experience, and feel it is a great way to support my photography, but I haven’t found a way to combine these two worlds yet, and have never worked as a photographer for the fashion industry.
What was your best exhibition experience? Why?
Exhibiting at the Photo España festival in Madrid in 2010. I had the opportunity to exhibit over 60 photographs in a very large space, and it was an amazing challenge! It was the first time that I looked back at my work as a whole, and decide what to include and how to present it. Editing is a crucial part of photography, and it can make the difference between a strong and cohesive body of work, or quite the opposite. It was interesting to present my work together for the first time, because there is a dialogue between the different bodies of work, and several themes and ideas that have continued to evolve throughout my work.
Could you see your space interventions as sculptures, leaving out the photographic documentation?
No, temporality is an important aspect of my work. I work in spaces that are in the process of being demolished or redeveloped, and use the sites as a temporary studio. The spaces themselves are ephemeral, as well as the sculptures and interventions, which will be destroyed along with the site. By photographing the sculptures, I am replacing them as “art objects”, and also imposing how I want these objects/sculptures to be perceived in the image.
Do you enjoy collaborations? What was the best collaboration you had?
I haven’t had any photography collaborations but I am open to the idea.
In which direction do you think your poetics could evolve?
More abstract, more conceptual…
Which is the most interesting place you’ve ever travelled to?
I love to travel! I think India is the most interesting and inspiring place I’ve traveled to. I’ve been several times and can’t wait to go back.
Which is the most difficult photo you did take?
I had to shoot a story for The New York Times Magazine a few years ago, and had to travel to several states in the US to photograph different types of voting machines. Some of these machines looked very ordinary, and it was very challenging to try to make them look interesting in the photographs!
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured / interviewed here?
Kathy Ryan, photo editor of The New York Times Magazine.
File under: Interview