Interview with Graham MacIndoe by Street Level Gallery, Glasgow 16/7/20
Graham gave a long discussion about his background and his work. In summary:
- Born in Scotland but now works as an associate university professor of photography in America.
- Early influences were punk rock, protest music and protests against racism (late 70’s, early 80’s)
- Initially studied painting at Edinburgh Art College
- Started taking photos on a trip to New York and has never stopped since, carries his camera everywhere he goes
- Went to Ireland and photo’d a horse fair (recently released on Café Royal
- Likes being both in the middle of the action and finding the quiet places on the outskirts
- Always been intrigued by people, the expressions on their faces, the weird moments
- Initially not interested in commercial work but got involved with it – money – drugs – Coming Clean & Chancers, dicussed at length in Coming Clean
- Took pictures throughout drug scene but doesn’t show the pictures he took of other people – ethical dilemma
- Just take the pictures – put them away – may make sense later and fit with others to make a piece of work
- Early pics are relevant to your life, chunks are missing, but use what you have
- Went to concerts, got backstage passes, now works a lot with band The National.
- Interested in running – so takes pics of that
- Protest photography ongoing – been involved since early days – feels that most of the images should come from the Black photographers
- Racism/ colonisation/slavery/poverty/injustice/incarceration needs to be addressed
- Quoted Robert Frank – black and white are the colours of hope and despair
- Documentary – are we overwhelmed by all the images. Much is just wallpaper. Need to engage – but how much effect does it really have
- Everybody lives in their own bubbles
Suggested photographers to look at:
- Kirsty MacKay
- Matt Black
- Neil Greer
- Disturb (?)
- If you are passionate you will get there
- Make pictures all the time
- Just keep on shooting
- Engage with the world to find out how your personal trauma fits in
- Who are you making things for?
- What’s the takeaway?
- You want people to think about what you have done