Δευτέρα, 22 Ιουλίου 2013

Interview with Gisele Lubsen on her new exhibition "Katharsis" -Paros 2013

Gisele Lubsen is an L.A.-based photographer & artist who grew up in Greece and Cyprus and has traveled the world. Her work is often inspired by Greek mythology. Her latest exhibition Katharsis is currently being showed in Paros island, Greece. 

You spent part of your childhood in Greece. What do you love the most in our country? 
In Greece in the very the first level, I feel close to nature. I feel connected with it, the life, the sunset. Everything here is so easy. In Greece there is a sense of love that I like. I have great friends here. 

What did your mother as an archaeologist teach you about ancient Greece and mythology?  
My mother taught me about mythology, but when I was young I reacted. I said "I'm going to Egypt. I will do modern art". I studied Modern Art in Paris because for me it is important to go my own way. My mom always left me very free. When we were in Greece she left me walking around and meeting people and so I learned to trust people. And that's wonderful! 


I feel that you are a citizen of the world. Is it easy for you to trust people you don't know? 
I lived in Africa for a while, then in Italy - Peruggia, in Paris. I don't believe that you can really get hurt by anybody. You need to keep walking and give your best energy. We attract each other and a meeting can be the start of a great friendship. So, I never say "no", I always say "yes". Even if it's not going to last forever -let's say, marriage or a relationship with a girlfriend- you have lot of things to learn. 

Which place is the ideal for you to live in? 
Greece for me is one of the best places to live. I love life on the islands, in Paros for example. I have also started to appreciate Athens, although I didn't like it before. I really liked Sri Lanka and also Santa Monica, where I live. Every day there is a possibility for something. You never know what is going to happen. So, I would choose America. 

How did you decide to become a photographer and especially an underwater photographer?
I believe in the process, it is very important. I love the motion of performance. My favorite artist is Caravaggio. While I was studying, I said "I want to shoot underwater" because there is a greatest level of performance. A level where we are completely submerged and beautiful, we don't pretend. I shot my girlfriends underwater in a swimming pool. I didn't even know how to do it. One of them looked like Kate Winslet and I became famous for photographing Kate Winslet! I am very honest. When they say that, I reply "no, it's not her" but they think I'm just modest. So, I say "Ok, whatever you believe!"


What was your main inspiration behind this exhibition?
The most important thing for me is that I see Greece like a mother. Greece is going through catharsis. I do not judge. I am not here to say: "Look at me, I am the American who came to show you beautiful photographs when you are losing all your money!" Who am I to do a show in Greece during this time? I want to talk about rebirth. Something really positive is going to come out of all this and this is what young people should believe. 

Which is your favorite ancient Greek myth? 
I really like the myth of Persephone, because she ate the pomegranate seeds and Hades took her with him in the other world. And then her mother Demetra tried really hard to get her back to the living. We all make mistakes. The question is: Are we going to be punished for the rest of our lives? No, we can go back and make things better. 

You sound  cool and optimistic. Have you ever been disappointed during your career? 
I am a people pleaser and I love to give. I spend a lot of time with them, with friends or boyfriends. I like to make them happy. But this year it is very important to be in a relationship with me. I like myself. In the beginning I was escaping from me, I thought it was better to live through other people. Now I am in my house, with my two cats and I have a good time. I enjoy my company and doing my best at what I do, but I don't spend my energy in bullshit. I used to do that, but not anymore. Of course I have felt disappointed, I have felt that my work is not good enough. I remember that some time ago, before a show, I felt nervous and unsatisfied and I said: "I hate all my photos!" Now I am relaxed. Love me or hate me, I don't care, as long as I touch you. 

What's next for you? 
A movie underwater. That's my dream. I will start shooting in late September with a great cast. It's going to be about women that get lost. I' m going to work with really great and strong women. I respect strong women who are focused to what they do, whatever that is. 

Which famous people do you wish to photograph? 
It sounds cliche what I am going to say but I would love to work with Vanessa Paradis, I think she is very eclectic, I love Cate Blanchett because she is unique, and of course I would love to work with Johnny Depp! But James Cameron is definitely my hero. 

In a personal level, what is your goal? 
I am really happy, I am healthy and I have good friends. I could see myself one day having children and lthe world with them. Giving them what my parents gave me: travelling and education. My goal is to touch people, to have children, to be able to combine my professional and personal life. 


Have you ever felt you need catharsis yourself? 
Yes. It was difficult, but it was good. It is amazing how you learn to love yourself and become your best friend. I was taking care of all the others, but I was not taking care of myself. I went through a tough time with my health for a year and a half, but I am healthy now. My body was telling me "Enough. Stop worrying about the others and take care of yourself!" It was a great experience. So now, it's about me. It's about being the best person I can and take care of me. I believe in myself. I believe I can make it and stop worrying if I am good enough. You have to be your Amazona. Every woman is amazing and has her own quality. 

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