“Sollicitus” Interview with David Lundbye by Nona Faustine

In your thesis exhibition you included a book mobile with various books depicting your family. Why didn’t you mix any of these images with the others that hang on the wall, you made a point to keep them separate?

My idea behind the pieces on the wall was to create an open ended narrative of sorts. In filmmaking there is a term for the first shot that sets the seen/stage of a movie, the establishing shot.

My images are establishing shots, set up to invoke not an alternate reality but multiple realities running side by side simultaneously, I strive for the viewer to make there own stories, the Zines hanging in the middle “the book mobile” are my stories, you can follow them or make your own.

You work has a post-apocalypse feel to it, I connect it with all the films and novels in the past decade that have depicted a world on the verge of destruction, can you talk about this in the context of your photographs in the show?

For the past year and a half I have asked myself the same thing. Why do I like to imagine a world after a supposed Armageddon science fiction Super War? I detest war. Well, maybe that is a bold statement, it implies that there is someone out there who loves war, and I truly don’t think there is but, I guess some people that have a lower bar than me for when war is okay must exist… yes, that is a better way of saying it. I think a lot about how the world would be after war-mongering, greedy, corrupt, world leaders have blown each other to bits over resources or extreme religious views that are just as bad for humanity as war is.

I draw inspiration from Sci-Fi movies, video games, and comic books, and novels, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury. One of the things that I find appealing about Science Fiction writings is that in many of them I find strong political motive. For example in Ray Bradbury short story “The Other Foot” from his book “The Illustrated Man” he uses the metaphor of Mars being colonized solely by Black people then getting a visit from Earth by a White man pleading them for help, since people of Earth have destroyed the planet in endless wars. To talk about race issues in 1950s America.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I am reading the “Hunger Games” ha ha ha and I must say that I am positively surprised by the book.

What are your top 3 favorite movies of all time?

 I don’t have a top 3, it comes in cycles which one I favor, some of them are, “Willow”, “Blade Runner”, “Evil Dead”, “Sleepy Hollow”.

 What are your dreams like and do you use any of them in your photographs?

I suppose I do in my subconscious, I don’t remember much of what I dream, the choices I make in my images are usually well thought out.

In your MFA Thesis exhibition you painted the walls black why? It definitely made it memorable.

I painted the walls black for many reasons, one to make the room more theatrical and to absorb light. My images resonate better on a black wall, and maybe there is also a slight hint of rebellion against the white walls of the Gallery.

The image from the exhibition of the window with the 70s curtains and the moth on the windowsill reminded me of a scene in the film “Revolutionary Road” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the last time we see Kate Winslet in the film not to give the movie away, do you know it? It has that feeling of something tragic having occurred in the room, can you discuss this intriguing photograph? 

 Being trapped in the “every day” or being “normal” is a fear, I think a lot of people have that particular image is from my families summerhouse in Sweden where I only have fond memories from. Your question reminded me of what the artist

Simen Johan said in an interview “If you look at anything in life, you realize that things and situations are never quite what they are made out to be’’, which takes me back to what I talked about earlier the multiple realities that I hope to create with the open ended narrative.

Of all the images hanging in the exhibition you have a little girl in one and a half man half pig in the other, where are all the other people?

I like being by my self, to be around people means that I have to put up barriers, when I am alone I can relax, people also mean distractions, I think often the solitude in my images reflect my wish for it, and since I moved to New York the absents of people have become a more predominate factor in my work.

What cameras or techniques do you use? 

I don’t use a specific camera or technique, I approach working with an ad hoc mentality that is properly the best way to describe my technique.

Who are your influences (in photography)?

Mostly documentary photographers mixed with surrealist painting, photographers like Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Kohei Yoshiyuki and Susan Meiselas.

How has the graduate studies at ICP Bard enriched and changed your work as a photographer verses the ideals that you had when you first came into the program? 

 I wouldn’t say changed but rather influenced, I think the program has helped me to understand my own work better, sometimes I have been forced to ask the questions that I don’t like to be confronted with, to ask why do this instead of just doing it.

Thank you,

Best Wishes to you and your mates

Nona Faustine




“Sollicitus” Interview with David Lundbye 2nd Year MFA Candidate

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