This is interview was originally published on Alejandra de Argos
INTERVIEW: OLIVIA BEE
“Enveloped in a dream”
We all have memories, all adults have suffered through adolescence, and almost everyone has pictures from that age. Images that take us back to past times of solitude or in the company of those who were special during those years. Images that make us remember friendships already forgotten and sensations that were unique and marvelous in that moment.
Olivia Bee has made all of these moments of her life stay frozen in the images that she has captured, and after being developed, they became something else. Olivia made it so that somehow we can live these moments with her through her photos. During a few seconds we are there with her, we are young again and we run through the snow with her. We accompany her while she looks through the window, or even while she photographs herself in an old printed armchair. Her photographs make us relive our own memories while, at the same time, we want to be part of her own.
A diary in snapshots, composed by micro-stories of one photograph that stimulates our imagination, makes us think of, in a nostalgic way, our lost youth, one that could be, one that really was, and the one we wanted.
Her recent past become oneiric in our retinas. This photographer is like the tiger cub who hunts by instinct, roughness and without any over-thinking. Her way is like a need: it is fed from the innocent moments of her life and the lives of her friends.
Olivia is insultingly young and belongs to a new generation that has been raised, educated, fed, and well-informed with images and videos. Their experiences are immediate, the information is global, the distances are virtual, and the whole world can be reached with a single click. In a new era where social media dominates our lives, where the hurry to catch the moment is more important than to live it, there exists an even bigger hurry to share it. It is a pleasure to stop, not think, rest, and look back, even if we’ve done it through images of someone else´s life, this time Olivia Bee’s.
Fabrizzio Morales: You started to photograph very young, you knew what you loved. Did your parents supported your talent and your passion? Olivia Bee: My parents have always been incredibly supportive. They always gave me everything that they possibly could. They kind of just let me do my thing but told me when I screwed up. I’m very lucky. My family is amazing.
FM: How important is people’s support for you and your work? OB: I am pretty faithful to myself in terms of art (most of the time). I know how to push myself and am pretty level-headed, but at the same time know that I am capable and that I can and will achieve my dreams (at least I hope!!). I think I would be fine without support because I definitely support myself and am very stubborn, but support definitely helps me a lot. I’m very lucky to have friends and family that love and believe in me and a boyfriend who is the same. I am very blessed.
FM: In your own photographs, you capture beautiful and very intimate moments of you and your friends’ life, how do you know when to stop and change from protagonist to an external watcher of your own experiences and photograph them? OB: This is something I am working on, internally. Knowing when to snap and when to put it down. I don’t want to use the camera as protection.
FM: Analog or digital; developing or computer editing; dark room or photoshop – what are your preferences? OB: I love both. Each comes with its own advantages.
FM: This is the first exhibition in which your pictures will be on sale, and some have already been sold before its opening – how are you finding this new experience? OB: It’s not my first! I had an exhibition in New York this summer called “Kids In Love” that I sold a lot of pieces at too! But it is amazing. But it’s also weird to sell pieces that are so close to my heart — but at the same time I want to be able to share them with other people.
Text: Fabrizzio Morales-Angulo
Photo: Olivia Bee.