Sasha Kurmaz

Your artistic roots lie in graffiti. On your current website street art is not so present. Did you decide that street art belongs on the street and not on the web? Or what is the reason behind this?

Yes, that’s true. My first artistic experiences are associated with graffiti. You can find very few of my old works on my website. I have kept them to a minimum because I am currently focusing on photography.

Some of your street art pieces deal with the Internet. One example for this is a poster you made with the sentence: “This poster is currently not available”. Is this a subject you intend to work on again in the future? Is ACTA a topic for you?

The Internet has become a big part of our modern day life. It’s hard to imagine what our lives would look like if the Internet disappeared. Its influence is so palpable that I was interested in exploring this scenario and testing what this might look like in the real world.

Many of your images contain nudes in combination with Ukrainian monuments or sculptures. Is this your way of saying, ‘people, come to the here and now and forget the past’. Or is it more an allusion to the Ukrainian sex industry and sex tourism? Or is it just because you like nudes?

I really like the course of your thoughts. Sex tourism is indeed a problem in Ukraine. The problem is gaining urgency on the eve of the European football championship. Indeed, many Europeans believe that the Ukraine is a country of cheap girls, alcohol and corrupt police force.

Does this mean the Ukrainian sex industry is not addressed in your photos?

It’s not the subject of my photos, but that doesn’t mean that this problem doesn’t exist in Ukraine.

Could you tell us something about how you work on your still life photos? Can you describe the process for us?

I don’t have a fixed way of working. I often make sketches before I start shooting, but other times I just capture moments spontaneously.

Do you have a special relationship to fruits? Many of your images contain fruits and vegetables.

No, not really.

Could you tell us something about your series of beach photos? Did you specially arrange the set for the photos? Where did you shoot them?

The series on the beach was taken last year in Odessa. We were celebrating the birthday of a friend of mine at her cottage. There were cameras lying around and I was able to make this wonderful series.

How did you become a member of the Civil Collective? What constitutes the Civil Collective and what goals does it pursue?

In early October of last year, I received an email from Charles Guthrie, in which he wrote to me about an idea he had of creating an independent platform for discussion and collective art projects, publications, etc. – in other words, he wanted to establish a collective that united young photographers from different countries to work as a combined mechanism of creativity. I was interested and we started working together on this.

Our team is made up of five photographers: Jennilee Marigomen, Christopher Schreck, Frankie Nazardo, Charles Guthrie and me.

Sasha, thank you for this interview.