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Interview

George Stamenov: An image could mean a thousand words, a film shot consists of infinite meanings

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
April 8, 2021
“An image could mean a thousand words, a film shot consists of infinite meanings.” In this interview, meet George Stamenov, nominated for Futures in 2020 by The Calvert Journal.

Raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and trained as a painter from an early age, George’s work examines the immersive possibilities of storytelling by challenging the dogmas of contemporary film making. His short films carry a unique aesthetic that is derived from Eastern Europe.

Stamenov utilizes computer graphic imagery as his primary medium, often to render the uncanny side of a simple event or a movement in a composition, exaggerating its insignificance in an extraordinary manner.

Below, he talked to us about his inspirations and current projects:

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Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations? Which themes do you often work with?

Although I am convinced that my inspirations derive from the constant information that is streaming around us, of course Eastern Europe is the main source of inspiration in my works. That includes the specific environments and aesthetics of the eastern bloc as well as the mores and ways of living in the eastern bloc. My last films are personal reflections on my own life therefore they carry the notion of a post-soviet environment. That being said, I am not only restricted to my roots and I love to observe and extract inspiration from nowhere, wherever that might be at the given time.

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

My work revolves mainly around film, which could be seen as a fast-running sequence of photographs. Moving images help me to express my inner thoughts and visualise them accordingly to what I feel. In my opinion there is no other medium that combines so many practices within a single art form. An image could mean a thousand words, a film shot consists of infinite meanings.

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

At the moment I am working on a series of sculptures. Planning on developing a couple of contemporary bas-reliefs, a practice that was mainly prominent during the medieval era, today seen as an ornamental kitsch. I feel there is a lot of potential in the practice and it’s worth exploring further.

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

Although the pandemic was damaging to many practices, I wouldn’t say it was as much for animation. More specifically for computer generated imagery as most of the practice is happening within the computer, in closed doors. If anything, it actually drove more attention to computer animation, which happens to be my main practice. On another hand, the lockdown situation and the little contact we are allowed to have with the outside world does reflect on my practice on many social levels. Let’s hope this will end soon and never come back again!

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

In parallel with my current project, I am in pre-production for a documentary film about the current state of socialist city sculptures, scattered in the cities of post-soviet states. The film tackles the common understanding of art produced during the soviet era and questions whether it has to be seen as art or simply labeled propaganda due to the political views of the contemporary Eastern Europeans.

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