Kristina Sereikaite Vilnius, Lithuania
Kristina Sereikaite (b. 1980) is a photographer and cinematographer living in Vilnius. She
studied photography in Vilnius College of Technologies and Design (2002-2005). In 2005 she became the winner of photography competition organized by French Cultural Center in honour of Robert Doisneau. Her study practice was covered at the National Photography school in Arles (L’école nationale de la photographie (Arles, France 2007). She earned BA and MA degrees of Audiovisal Arts of Master in films at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2010 and 2012. In 2012 she won the main prize for the series “Innocence” of photography competition’s theme “L’homme et l’eau” (“Human and Water”) organized by Photography Festival MAP, Toulouse. Young artist has organized 15 personal photography exhibitions held in Lithuania, in France (Paris, 2011), in Denmark (Copenhagen, 2012). Since 2005 she has participated in collective projects in France (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), in USA (2010), in Mexico (2010), in Canada (2014), in United Kingdom (2014).
In 2013 she became a member of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers, a member of Lithuanian Association of Cinematographers (LAC).
In 2015 Kristina Sereikaitė won the 1th prize at the Panevėžys International Photography Biennial “Man and the City 2015” for the series „Concentrations“.
Kristina Sereikaite was chosen by photographer Daniel Orlando Lara
Laatikkomo’s interview with Kristina Sereikaite August 5th, 2015:
L: Where are you from? What cities, and/or countries have you lived in – or what places have influenced you?
KS: I was born and raised up in a small town called Radviliskis. Then I moved to Vilnius.
After graduating from the photography department at Vilnius College of Technologies and Design I did an internship at the National School of Photography in Arles (L’école nationale de la photographie) where I completed a residency with the support from the French government. This school broadened my understanding of art as a whole and contributed to shaping my individual perception and visual aesthetic. Internship in this photography school gave me an impulse for deeper self- analysis and motivation “why and what for I am doing this”. Also I was really inspired and encouraged by the people I met there. Afterwards, I moved to Barcelona for 4 months, where I pursued an internship as a director of photography. The new surrounding, new people, new experience had a strong impact on my photography and on my self -exploration as well. It helped me to mature as an individual.
Now I live and work in Vilnius.
L: What is your earliest memory of photography?
KS: My earliest remarkable memory of photography was when I saw my cousin’s photographic work. She used to love experimenting with her printed images with acrylic paints. She gave to these daily life shots a whole new life by adding stark colors or washing out some areas. I was impressed with her playful approach. Even though I had a desire to express myself in art in my childhood and I graduated from both music and art schools, I never thought that I would relate my future with photography. I wasn’t like many others who take photographs since childhood, I began to lean towards photography relatively late in life. Paradoxically, before I was interested in realms that would make me the center of attention (I wanted to be an actress), but gradually I became much more interested in people around me, until I ended up “out of the frame”. I am very grateful to the fate, because only as I photographer I do start noticing things that I’ve not seen before. I’ve also become more sensitive and responsive to the environment and people around me. Thanks to photography, I see the world anew every time.
L: The critic Gytis Skudzinskas wrote about hearing a imaginary music or a sound track accompany your photographs. Do you hear music in your work, and if so what kind of music is playing ?
KS: Personally, I don’t’ hear any imaginary music in my works, but if my photography encourages visitors to “hear” and to “see” the sound, I am happy. And if this sound track evokes viewer’s feelings and intellectual sensitivity and helps to convey a coded message, I am more than happy.
L: You are both a photographer an cinematographer, having not seen your work in film, can you describe how you feel these two techniques differ from each other and how that difference comes through in your work – or not?
KS: Photography and cinematography are different forms of visual media. Different perceptions of the images. While the photography is an instant of duration captured in the past, the cinema is unfixed duration in the present. Different approaches are required for film making and photography in order to effectively unfold the story that wants to be told. A single photograph may be a complete work in itself, but a cinematographer deals with relations between groups of shots. Cinematography is also far more collaborative than photography. The cinematographer’s artistic aesthetics should support the director’s vision of the story, not just express photographer’s understanding of the world. But there are obvious connections between lighting, framing, composition techniques and aesthetic relation. Both are visual languages with the capacity to evoke viewer’s emotions and convey the meaning of the work. The fact that I had studied and worked as a film shooter also added some cinematographic quality to my photograph series, as the technical photographic knowledge and photographic style influence my cinematography as well. These two art forms have broadened my views and personality as well.
L: In your series Concentrations, a certain color blue and rosy pink re-occur in each image. I also noticed that your other series also usually work with one specific color scale. What importance does color have in your images?
KS: I like playing with the intensity or hue of a single color. For example, series INNOCENCE is limited to just one color, my photographs become more painterly. This demands more sensitivity of the spectator so that she can see subtle nuance in the color. I would never deny the psychological and physiological effect of color on the viewer, but I believe that hushed colors are less distracting and help to focus attention on the meaning of the work.
I’ve accentuated two colors in the series CONCENTRATIONS not just to give a visual cue that these images are related but also to help to reinforce the idea of the series.
L: Humans beings are the primary focus of your work and with that comes a huge scale of emotions. However initially, I did not notice the “atmosphere of a horror film” or the “terrible screaming” as mentioned by critics. Instead I saw the humans portrayed as dancers or actors in experimental movement or posing in a very controlled environment. For me the image or series functions more as an object rather than a still. What genres of film or other art forms are an inspiration for you?
KS: I am influenced by such art-house as Michael Haneke’s, Ulrich Seidl’s, Lars Von Tier’s, David Lynch’s, Wong Karwaï’s, Andrey Tarkovsky’s, Peter Greenaway’s, Joshua Oppenheimer’s, Artur Aristakisian’s films.
I seek inspirations from all sorts of sources, be it a film or theatre, music, visual arts or literature. But my purest source of inspiration definitely comes from my personal experience observing human life and events of the modern world.
L: What is one of the most important questions that you ask, or would like to inspire others to ask, through your photographs?
KS: One of the most important questions I would like to raise is about fragility of the human existence. Through my photographs I try to speak about humanity’s dramatic relationship with nature, the dual nature of man and his encounter with himself. I want to pull out the hidden inner workings of a man, realize his inner voice, his pains, hopes and history. What attracts me is a man’s relationship with death. Death is an unassailable secret to the human mind, but it is what gives meaning to the world. It is through the death that we encounter the human limitations. If it weren’t for death, ultimately there wouldn’t be any life.
L: Could you list five or more words related to the work you are showing in Laatikkomo?
KS: Nature, Birth, Death, Fragility, Confrontation
Thank you so much Kristina!!