photo film feature: headcleaner
Ian Allaway is a very good photographer, and not just another one trying to ‘over-quote’ peoples stuff . . .
providing uniform art-work feeding it into the streams of social media is meeting the demand of what people want to consume, and it sucks. Ians photos leave room for thinking and / or a conversation after looking at them, which – simply – makes them strong and can even have an educational background. those factors attract me the most, like work can be a ‘trade’, when you’re getting something out of it.
you’re making an unwritten deal with the artist, regardless if you ever meet them in person, but through the body of work you’ll find a story, that wants to be told and shared and if you’re very lucky you might even like what you see.
if you’re into Mr. Allaways stuff, here’s an interview with him:
a lot of your photos make me feel weird (which is great). do you have something like a ‘general intention’ you’re trying to create when you shoot?
Good, that “weirdness” is something I consciously aim for. I realise many people will not like that in the age of Instagram where most pictures conform to standardised clichés. I do of course also make “fine art” though I personally dislike that label and prefer “un-fine art”. I can create “nice” work but life is mostly surreal and absurd so I prefer to reflect that in some way.
awkward settings, awkward positions, emotions, lighting etc. you’re successfully causing irritation with your photos, why?
Mottos are stupid but I have one, “the unusual in the usual and the usual in the unusual”. Awkwardness fits into that. Most shoots I ask/tell people not to smile or be happy or enjoy themselves. That would just be wrong. It kinda works though the odd giggle creeps in every now and again. That’s when I use my baseball bat.
as far as I can tell you only shoot film, using the FM2, but also Polaroid and medium format, do you have a favorite camera, type of film, combination?
I will actually shoot with anything that takes a picture though yes I prefer the hands on work with film. The FM2 is simply one of the best cameras ever made. It’s easy to use and indestructible so just frees me up to concentrate on the shots I want instead of being some tech nerd, gear head with lenses like penis extensions. I use several cameras and my friend Tobias has recently built a full format camera for me which I will be using soon if the sun ever shines in Scotland. I always prefer natural light, which is a self-imposed kind of masochism living this far north.
how do you find the people you’re taking photographs from?
Mostly from the pub, I get them drunk and confuse them until they are malleable enough to pose for me in uncomfortable positions or vulnerably nude. Of course I also work with professional models and try to get them to accept some form of unconventionality. My shoots are very much a collaboration so many ideas happen at the moment and I shift between dictatorial commands and free flowing interaction.
the ‘b-series’ goes through your entire flickr, but I’ve seen it elsewhere, did you start it, whats the ‘b-series’ about?
Definitely started this and I have seen several shambolic attempts to copy the idea, or, I have inspired people in some way. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” etc.
B is from “to be or not to be”. That is very much the question in this case.