Interview with Karola Jansen

Un Natural species 

 By Karola Jansen

“I want to show the paradox of plastic, the contrast between beautiful and ugly, useful and polluting, tangible and elusive. Plastic speaks and tells its own story.”

What dit you enjoy the most about making this book? 

Before I started this book, I had already made several series with plastic. I have been photographing plastic since 2011. After making a few series, I still wanted to make a book about plastic and show how I look at plastic. I wanted to show the paradox of plastic, the contrast between beautiful and ugly, useful and polluting, tangible and elusive. Plastic speaks and tells its own story. By making this book I crept into the plastic, as it were, so that I could always capture my ideas in a photo in a different way. I wanted to show a combination of fusion and integration of plastic. What I most enjoyed about the process of making this book was that I was able to freely engage in plastic and proceed more and more conceptually. 

 And not to forget working with my designer Suze Swarte and fellow colleagues who gave me the confidence to continue with this book and therefore my story. 

Can you find 3 words that describe what your book is about?   UnNatural – Natural – Species 

 

 

What do you expect the viewer experience when they look at your book? 

Un Natural Species will amaze and surprise the viewer. The viewer will see plastic as you encounter it when you are on the road in everyday life, but the viewer will also be surprised by different types of plastic. The viewer will wonder whether it is natural or unnatural? The viewer will see that plastic speaks and tells its own story, experiences the fusion of plastic and that it is impossible to imagine our society without plastic.  

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How do you see this book in the bigger frame of your work? 

Un Natural Species is my first photo book and will certainly not be my last. With a photo book you can tell a story, the series I made earlier were a steppingstone to making this book. Without those series, there would be no Un Natural Species.  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you say something about the editing of your book? Did you work alone? Did you work with an image editor and designer? 

 I made the book with designer Suze Swarte. From the first moment we met, Suze understood the story I wanted to tell. We did the editing together. Suze sensed what I wanted and that I crawled into the plastic, as it were. The story has a rhythm, walks and dances, just like plastic. The book has become cuddly and has a nice size. Plastic is elusive and I hope the viewer will see this and will wonder about the beauty of plastic.