I am very pleased to share with you the interview I did with Allyson Lupovich about her MFA solo show!
GK: Where did you grow up?
AL: Originally Montreal, Canada, but i’ve been living all over the States for 10 years now. Maine, Boston, New Mexico, New York etc.
GK: How did you get into photography?
AL: I started photography at a younger age, eleven years old at summer camp. Everybody had a disposable camera but I was the only one with a real camera, a nikon f2 to be exact. I was able to take everybody in my cabin’s photographs and develop them the next day rather than wait around till they got back to the city. So it definitely began as more of a social mechanism, as a way for me to interact with people which is funny seeing what photography images have evolved into via social media and the interwebs today.
GK: I know that you have a strong relationship with your grandfather’s kodachrome slides. What do they mean to you?
AL: We’re all guilty of investigating our family archive, like when we return to our parents’ homes we have this habit or itch to go through old photo albums which usually feature an array of snapshot photographs taken with some kind of plastic camera. The need to take photographs has changed so much. Blurry photographs of flamingos, televisions, somebody’s back, the odd portrait with a finger or a pair of sunglasses covering the lens. The quiet and unglamorous details that make up my family archive are things that I was taught never to do in photography school. With everything that I had learned, like the right time to use a flash, or how to correctly expose a photograph has become so uninteresting to me. I like to think, when i’m taking pictures, that i’m taking them the same way my grandparents did with their Kodachromes, like it’s some kind of right of passage.
GK: What is the main theme that connects your photographs?
AL: My work is about my family who live in Montreal, but vacation a lot. I was inspired by my grandfather’s vacation kodachromes and thought it was funny how even after 60 years we’re still doing the same thing. All of these kitschy, plastic like landscapes that make up an upper middle-class environment is somehow supposed to be called home for me. Longing and nostalgia are things that come up sooo much in Photography, and I wanted to poke at that.
GK: It seems places you choose to shoot is important in your work. How do you feel about taking pictures in New York?
AL: I do take photographs in New York, but they are not related to my practice. I am actually incredibly inspired by street photographers. The ability to completely remove themselves from this giant swamp of humans and create magical mysterious moments on the street. Some of my first photo heros like Walker Evans, Gary Winogrand, and Cartier Bresson were all street photographers and it is a practice that I respect immensely. While I’m inspired by it, I’m also a little intimidated by it.
GK: Can you talk more about your title The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows. How do you draw connections between your show and this title?
AL: The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows is a song by the emo/pop-punk band, Brand New. It was a song that I often listened to as a teenager. Throughout this program, during the same time I was searching through my photographic archive I was also searching through my musical archive. Music to me is very important, but it’s really hard to connect it with photography. They’re parallel but they never really intertwine. I don’t use music in my work but I really wanted to find a way to connect them together and what better way than to do that than through my title. The song is about a failing marriage, quiet things left unsaid. While the physical sounds of this song emanate a certain time period in my life, the lyrics remind me of a disconnection that is often prevalent in broken families.