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Interview

Alin Barbir: The process of all my personal work always starts with an emotion

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
January 25, 2021
“For me, photography acts primarily as a support for memory. Images are symbols of past experiences. That’s why I think of myself as not so much a photographer but a memory maker.” In this interview, meet Alin Barbir, nominated for Futures in 2020 by the Photo Romania Festival.

Alin Barbir was born in 1981 in Oradea, Romania. Fond of photography, he spends most of his time building up skills and developing abilities in this love field. His work has been rewarded with several prizes.⁠

⁠Below, he spoke to us about his inspirations and career:

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Images from the project 'Pulse'
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Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations? Which themes do you often work with?

My name is Alin Barbir, a photographer from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, who is learning something new every day. I like to experiment a lot; therefore, all my projects are a little bit different from each other. The memory, my family, inner self, love, life, passing of time, human psyche, are the main subjects that I am interested in.

How do you see your relationship with the medium? How do you use photography to express your art?

For me, photography acts primarily as a support for memory. Images are symbols of past experiences. I personally regard them as symbols of the ideas in my mind and of the emotions in my heart. They help me remember and teach me new ways of thinking and feeling. That’s why I think of myself as not so much a photographer but a memory maker. Right now, I’m focused on making photo books with my projects. To take care of my memories. To bring those things back. In this increasingly digital world, I have this strong need for a tangible way to experience sensations, feelings, human touch. As regards to images, nothing can meet in the same way paper does. For me they are an experience and pieces of art.

I published four books so far and I directed four short-movies and one music video.

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Do you have any ongoing (or more recent) project that you would like to share with us?

I have finished an experimental short-film, which is meant to be a preface for my work in progress photo album ‘Pulse’. It’s a manifesto against photography, for the love of photography. It’s about the effects of relying on technology rather than people.  It shows how digital technology has changed photography and altered the human psyche.

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Last year was challenging in many different ways. How do you see this moment for your career? What has changed in your practice?

From an artistic point of view was a good year. I published two books and I directed one short, experimental movie. Also, I spent more time with my family which is priceless. In these uncertain times, it’s very important to keep a functional relationship with all of us. With communication, commitment, compromise, respect and quality energy, love will find a way. Just have a little faith.

Can you share with us some of your plans for the future? Do you have any new project in mind?

My plans are to not get lost along the way. To eliminate things from life that are bringing more tension than peace. To take a break daily from the madness and to find my true self, inside, near my family. Bad memories will always come back. Instead of dwelling on them, I try to accept them, and focus on this very moment. Sometimes is very hard, I know.

Personally, when I do achieve a project, I must find a new one as soon as possible in order to stay emotionally fit. The process of all my personal work always starts with an emotion. I constantly try to pursue something that bring out the best in me.

I am currently working on a project, ‘Yūgen’, inspired by the Japanese aesthetics.

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