Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Indira Cesarine: Master Of The Untitled

By Mark Edward Harris, Photography By Indira Cesarine Published in Photographer Profiles
Working thematically, Indira Cesarine builds and develops ideas during the course of a shoot and a season. When she feels like she has exhausted one style, she moves on to something new and starts over. On the set, she may start with a preconceived sketch, but more often than not, plans for a specific shot are almost immediately discarded. Her strong instincts take over as she starts working with the elements fluidly on-site. This way of working helps keep her images original, which makes them stand out in a field that's overrun by copying and imitation.
Working thematically, Indira Cesarine builds and develops ideas during the course of a shoot and a season. When she feels like she has exhausted one style, she moves on to something new and starts over. On the set, she may start with a preconceived sketch, but more often than not, plans for a specific shot are almost immediately discarded. Her strong instincts take over as she starts working with the elements fluidly on-site. This way of working helps keep her images original, which makes them stand out in a field that's overrun by copying and imitation.

DPP: When you work in the studio, you really sculpt the light.

Cesarine: I was working with a lot of gobos and the Profoto ZoomSpot. Rosco has a huge line of premade gobos, which I've used, and I have some custom-made, as well. I've also used black foil to cut my own patterns with an X-acto® knife.

DPP: How are you incorporating video in your workflow?

Cesarine: I do a lot of video on my shoots and tend to shoot photo and video simultaneously. I'll have my Mamiya RZ with a digital back and have one or two Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs set up on either side and have them running at the same time that I'm doing my stills. Sometimes I'll have an assistant pan with one of those if I need it. I'll also have one or two additional camera operators, one doing behind the scenes and one shooting from 45 degrees to the side. If I'm shooting primarily with flash, then I'll have Kino Flos set up at the same time for the video.

DPP: The Seduction video with model Barbara Fialho had a very cool effect. How did you achieve it?

Cesarine: The sparkle and glittery effect is actually an overlay I shot separately. When we did the production, I knew I wanted to bring in these elements of light and movement and to create that magic aura of a tingling sensation. I asked myself, when you're thinking of "seduction," what does the sensation of your skin tingling look like? The overlay on top of all the imagery helped achieve this "sensation" effect. I put glitter in water and did macro shots where it was creating fragmented light and then layered it with the footage of the model in Final Cut Pro 7.


DPP: How did your magazine, high-lighting multimedia, come about?

Cesarine: The Untitled Magazine was originally launched as XXXX Magazine, the idea of the title being that the "xxxx" was a placeholder for something to be discovered. For thousands of years, the "x" has stood for "the indefinable," "the object of mystery." For me, the x's were also about multiplying one media with another, bringing sound, music, video and stills all together. It becomes a mathematical equation multiplying itself. It might have been lost on a lot of people who thought, what is this, some porn thing? It never was meant to be a reference to erotica. I loved the name, but felt it needed to be redefined, so I rebranded it as simply The Untitled Magazine. The new name has for me the same meaning, yet has far more commercial viability and emphasizes the art side of the magazine. There are millions of pieces of art that are called "untitled". In the magazine, I like to mix things up, featuring established photographers such as Antoine Verglas and new wave youth culture photographers like Jessie Craig.

DPP: The great photographers seem to have in common backgrounds that give them a lot of depth to pull from. Your studies have obviously contributed to your work.

Cesarine: I have a triple major from Columbia University, and I went to Choate Rosemary Hall, which is one of the most esteemed boarding schools in America. I've always been highly academic. I've pretty much read every major work of philosophy and studied the masters of the arts and the various art forms. Art history is really about the culture and the society of the times they're created in. You have to read and understand what was going on at that time in history to understand the work of art. I want to bring all this to the table with my photography. My inspiration has always been drawn from highly conceptual and philosophical subjects.
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