Text: Irina Rusinovich
Photo: Courtesy of photographer Marco Sanges
At an early age, Sanges started to work at his uncle’s photographic lab and became fascinated by the crafts and the process of developing and making black-and-white pictures. Sanges prefers analogue photography, as he’s nostalgic for the early 20th century, when life was slower-paced and even feelings seemed to last longer.
Greatly attracted to cinema and the luminous, black-and-white films of the silent-era, in particular, Sanges creates photographs in sequence. Every sequence tells a unique, multi-layered story, contributing to a highly personal, imaginary cinema. The projects staged as live theatrical performances are permeated with magnifying imagination.
The surrealistic impression of Sanges’ work represents the liberation of the unconscious. The artist aims at creating art outside the boundaries of official culture: he seeks to reject the established values and elaborate some fantasy worlds through illustrating extreme mental states and ideas.
There is also an enchanting, yet dark side of the artist’s work: an intriguing depth that appears to highlight the drama of life and capture the sincerity of the journey. Sanges’ works make the spectator embark on an emotional voyage and lose themselves in the narrative and the power of storytelling.
His exhibitions bring together the works of an artist who is passionate about life in its entirety and continues to evoke, transcend, and excite the world! Although fascinated by digital arts, Sanges strongly believes in the immortality of film and the real essence of photography. He works with a 6×7 camera and always expects the pictures to be perfect at the first raw.
How would you describe your style and your approach to photography?
I would describe my style as cinematographic and complex. I create projects and photographs in sequence, where each story is slowly revealed to the viewer. I use photography as a medium to explore the unconscious and fantasy realms. I like to work using a variety of concepts and techniques, experimenting and bringing creativity in my compositions, designing my own imaginary world, like I were daydreaming, you know.
The topic for the current Purplehaze print issue is WOMEN. What do you think of when hearing this word?
Mystery, style, sex appeal, intuition, sophistication. and red lipstick.
Do you have a different approach to women in your work?
I enjoy finding strong and eccentric personalities who become the main characters of my narratives. It’s a desire of mine to tell a story through still images, while also implementing an element of cinema. It’s like a natural progression that remains strongly present. You can clearly see it in my ‚Circumstances‘ series in which I predominantly shot women.
Please tell us about your creative process. Do you tend to follow the same process in each project?
My creative process is constantly evolving. It does change depending on the project, the subject, and the message I want to convey. The only thing that doesn’t change is my devotion with analogue shooting, i.e. developing/processing films in the darkroom. I’m attached to the old craft of photography, thus, it’s very important for me to carry it on in my practice.
What message do you want to get across with your photography?
I would say the most important thing is the storytelling power of my photographs. For me, each image is a way to address the imagination of viewers, make them experience their own version of the story. Capturing a moment with tension, inspiration, and emotion is the main goal of all my practice.
How has your practice evolved since starting out?
Photography is a vast craft and my practice has evolved a lot since starting out. Working on different projects has allowed me to discover some sides of me that I previously had no idea about. It also enabled me to push boundaries and dare to try out different ways of photographing.
Please tell us about your new COVID series.
The idea of creating COVID series came to me at the beginning of March last year as we got stuck at home. I sought to document the unique period we all were going through and represent it in an authentic and artistic manner. The first part of the project was shot at home: it was just a mixture of daily objects and everyday scenes. Those were the things that became very close to us, meanwhile the external world suddenly became unknown. I guess there was even something comforting in knowing those objects were at our side day after day.
In the second part of the project, I went out following my own shadow and capturing what had remained in the city. That’s how a series of portraits and street scenes arrived. My goal was to express the feelings we all shared during those strange times like a feeling of being imprisoned in a ghost town with the medium of photography. The spontaneous approach I took allowed me to capture genuine emotions and make striking images.
What’s the latest project you are working on?
Currently I’m working on a new project where lights, science, and astronomy are the main subjects. Photographing science and medical objects from the earlier centuries and bringing back the old crafts of astronomy is the goal of the project. The role of light and geometric shapes is very important; it brings a different dimension and definition to each image.