I recently attended an artist talk at The Manchester Photographic Gallery by Seba Kurtis. I was particularly interested in his topics of immigration and boarder crossing, after working with similar themes in Mexico last summer. However I was very taken by his attitude and idea of processes and manipulation within his work. Seba talked in depth about photographs as objects and the use of combining chosen objects to create a more concept led style of work. He is very playful with film and with the way he uses his surrounding to objectify the finished photographs. His previous project ‘Drowned’ is a good example of how he would use the information discovers during his time in these border towns to affect his photographs.
On first glance the KIF project which is displayed at the gallery is colourful and scenic, with a hint of exchange and possible gang culture. It wasn’t until I heard Seba talk about the work that I really understood the relationship between himself and the incentive to make this piece of work, a love letter to his recently deceased friend.
There was also a opportunity to listen to the process of publishing work, designing and making a book/journalistic document, as Seba’s publicist and other members of his team were present at the talk. It was a good chance to ask some questions about the way commissioned work plays a part in an artists life and how to go about working on personal projects at the same time.