The book’s space interviews: After a while

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04 nov The book’s space interviews: After a while

Book: After a while
Photographs: Natalia Baluta
Book design: Julia Borissova
Editor: Self-Published
Date of publishing: April 2014
N° of copies: 100
Dimensions: 22×14,5 cm
Binding: Hardback cover, sewn binding
Paper: Olin smooth absolute white 150


Which are the 5 indispensable pictures for this book?

Photographer: The core question of my project and the book is whether or not future can appear in the photo. I am giving the answer in the different ways. My 5 indispensable pictures – each one represent a way to answer.

What is the framed structure of this book?

Book Designer: Book is divided into 4 parts and each part has its own structure. But some elements are repeated again and again in different parts, to create the rhythm. Combination of different structures brings feeling of a game. While images are placed and combined in such a way, that gives unexpected connections and builds uninterrupted smooth flow.

How did you choose your book designer?

P: I admire what Julia is doing as an artist and as a designer. Many of her books are on my shelf. But more importantly, we know each other for a while, and have something like personal connection, some shared views, beliefs, experiences; we are able to understand each other. Even understand something which is not clearly articulated. I thought is it very important while working on a book. There are many things I cannot put in words (and this might be a purpose of doing photographic project and photo book as there are things which people cannot put in words). So it is good to have designer, who could either feel the same as you, or understand what you mean, without clear saying.

What was your approach to get into the photographic project?

BD: It is necessary to be ‘on the same wave’ with the photographer to create a book, understand each other. We started from in-depth discussion of all the details. And then, when I started my work, it was important to follow the intuition.

How did you develop the work on the book?

P: We were in close contact through the entire work on the book, exchanging thoughts and ideas about drafts and later when first version came out of printer. We made a lot of changes based on our discussion.
When the work started I thought that my photographic content is 100% ready. But then I saw in the book drafts that in certain places we miss a proper image. So I created several additional images to put into a specific place, replacing what I had before or adding on top. I would not have them otherwise.

BD: Through the entire process we have being asking each other the questions, exchanging ideas and variants, trying different approaches. The book is born through this exchange.


Which narrative slant did you choose for this book and why?

BD: This book is a message in a bottle – it holds some images from the past and present and from perceived future. It is a combination of analytical research, personal diary with things which could be lost forever, and search for miracle to imagine or predict the future with photographic approaches.

What’s the difference between the book and the photographic project slant?

P: Photobook was not my initial intention with this project; I first experimented with exhibition format and installation. But very soon I realized that topic of future seems too sophisticated, therefore “high-end”, “sophisticated” representation forms were establishing additional distance between the viewers and my ideas. While I exactly wanted to come closer to the audience, show that future is not something which happens in science fiction movies or in universities and political offices, but it appears in everyday life. I wanted more “inviting format” – book appeared to be perfect. It is simple as everyday object. And it can be kept. I used this opportunity to turn book into time capsule. And it also gives opportunity to build the flow and pace to the story. So at the end I do not think there is any other way for this project to exist, it is a photobook, I do not see other ways to represent this project.


How did you choose the materials and the kind of printing?

BD: The edition of the book was supposed to be relatively small, hence choice of digital printing. And materials were chosen based on the message of the book. It is not supposed to be an archive; therefore paper is white and smooth, to make all the details clearly visible.

How the materials’ choices are connected to the photographic project?

P: Story in my book is illusive. All those ideas about time, they come into our minds and fly away usually leaving nothing. I desperately wanted to catch the ideas and bring them to “real world”. Book having material form was helping a lot. And then all materials in the book were supposed to be rather solid, strong. Hence selection of pretty thick paper and hardback covers.
I also wanted the surface of paper to be nice to touch, again “inviting”, object close to humans, opposed to plastic materials often associated with future from science fiction. But not textured or tanned. One of images I have is “sheet of clean white paper”, as a place where future will appear. So I was looking for this type of paper, suitable for the future to appear on it.

You can also find all the interview archive on 3/3 blog: