Elena Pérez-Ardá López (b.1991) is a Spanish photographer currently based in North Iceland. She did her BA in fine arts from University of Salamanca in 2014. Elena started to photograph few years ago and since then has shot mostly on film, especially with black and white photography. Here’s a selection of her images with her words on her work and preferences:
I was born in the south of Spain, but mostly grew up in the north. So this is something that straight away influenced my way of looking at things, such as distances & landscapes. I was lucky to live for one year in North America when I was 16 and after that I decided to study Fine Arts back in Spain. When I started studying art, I had classes for painting, drawing and sculpture. It was not until my 4th year of University, when I went to art school in Germany that I focused on photography.
For me it´s a way of understanding the world. It´s intrinsic to myself. A painter paints, I shoot. It´s the medium I feel most comfortable with.
Why are there very few images in your website?
Nowadays we are over-saturated with pictures. I prefer to show a few, and make a clear statement of what I do rather than to throw everything that I have shot. On the other hand, I feel like I want to delete or edit my website everyday so it´s a bit of a complicated relationship 😉
I think I am figuring out this everyday and I like to play with that. I guess I´m a mix between a documental and conceptual photographer. Both complement one another and it´s necessary to understand the picture, but, honestly, I don’t introduce myself as a photographer so often, I say: “What do you think of this?” and I show the pictures. It´s better when people tell you first what they think, then you just agree or disagree and that´s fine. It´s a more open way of considering the work. I prefer to talk about concrete projects or artworks rather than styles.
Most of my work shows an intimate relationship with travel & interrogates the experience of it. On the one hand, the possibilities of any personal journey, on the other hand, the iconography that has been implied through art history: the flâneur, the non-site, the road, the objet trouvé. Other than that, I am very spontaneous with the camera when it comes to action. This does not mean that I am not considering projects and sketches before I shoot – but above all, when I see the film developed, I work with what I have.
I believe I am always taking the same picture, and thus training my eye. It does not matter much who, what or where – the theme is sometimes just an excuse to find my personal composition, my opinion about the matter, or an “ode” to something I like. Sometimes I just like to capture an aesthetic moment.
I like to shoot analogue, and I am mainly using a Minolta from the 80’s and a Yashica Electro35. My favorite lens is the 50mm, especially for interior spaces. I am not so much into the editing world. I think it´s contradictory if you shoot analogue to edit afterwards. I sometimes clean the picture, but that´s all.
This a tough one! I think photography walks a very thin line, this means it´s a very accessible art to everyone, even for those who are not “into art”, but at the same time, because of this it has been exploited in the past years. My first hello! to the internet was Flickr, then I joined Tumblr as a “diary”, and Facebook, but I am not so fan of social media. I recently joined Instagram, and sometimes I just regret it, too much exposure, but, what can you do in 2016? It seems like everything is out there and you really have to promote yourself all the time. I just don’t like the personal-life promoting. It´s a bit of a façade. I guess it´s ok, some people´s photographic work is really about intimacy, and I like that, but the endless chain of “selfie-body-food” gets easily boring. I just wanted to throw some controversy out there.
I have trouble with making decisions, so I am not really sure how to answer this… We´ll see! I would love to do a photobook – totally, I have never done that! I would also love to collaborate with other artists and revisit other artistic projects, not only related to photography.
I´m going to say, a film: On the Waterfront, A Quote…any Bob Dylan lyric, pick whatever!
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
A book, “To kill a mockingbird”, in honor of Harper Lee, music… the sound of the ocean.