Evelyn Bencicova is a photographer from Berlin, Germany
She lived her entire life in Slovakia, but she recently moved to Germany just because she felt this was the right moment. Evelyn Bencicova says that Berlin is the place to be. I rarely talked to photographers with such crystal ideas about images and concepts, you wouldn’t guess what’s behind the scenes of those momentary parallel realities. It is interesting how the idea comes into Evelyn’s mind and it’s incredible how important and obsessing it becomes until the moment she finds a perfect way to realize a project. And she’s going for more, she’s going deeper.
This is Evelyn Bencicova, a stunning artist with a sensitive, mind-blowing vision of the world and the people!
I see that you were born in Bratislava, but you now live in Berlin. How long did you stay in Slovakia before moving to Germany? Which are, in your opinion, the biggest differences between these two countries?
I lived in Slovakia for my whole life and moved to Berlin just two months ago. The biggest difference is that most of the people I’m meeting in Berlin are here because they really want to be here. And even if it is not easy and they have to overcome a lot of obstacles in order to live here, they can almost always do it. You can feel this passion and freedom, the possibility to be whatever you want to be and the will to fight for it. In Bratislava or Slovakia you can find a lot of talented people who are doing amazing work, but usually they don’t have such a lot of courage or motivation to follow their goals. But I think it is getting better and better together with the possibilities for young people and artists from Slovakia.
So how do you find yourself creating in Berlin? I should guess it’s inspiring!
I just felt the sudden unexplainable need to be here, the desire to come and live here now, at least for a while. For me is Berlin the most beautiful and inspiring city in the world. Maybe I will change my mind later but for a young person, who is searching for an inspiration and intensity this is the place to be. It is full of opportunities to live and to create but it is always necessary to find the healthy balance in everything, what can be sometimes quite difficult.
Where do you realize most of your works? Does it make any difference since your pictures have that timeless and spaceless taste?
Most of my pictures are realized in Bratislava. I’m really inspired by socialistic architecture and esthetic and in Bratislava I have a lot of opportunity to find this kind of buildings and locations. I think that it is natural to be influenced by your own culture also in your work and to use things which are around, especially when you cannot afford anything else.
Who are your characters? What are you trying to transmit through your models?
I take the pictures of people, but they are not real. Usually they just represent something, someone else. But still, my photos are not about them. It is not about that who is on the picture but what is on the picture, what is happening.
Character is there in order to tell the story, otherwise it wouldn’t be possible. I cannot imagine my photos without characters even if I’m not able to describe them so easily.
And what are you trying to say through those naked bodies, all together in cold and aseptic places?
Pictures are about humanity, about behavior of a person in society and about the character of society in the world. It can be about everyone. Anyone. That is the reason why the people are anonymous and naked. It is a human being without any kind of factualness. With places it is the same- I was trying to find cold, impersonal locations with almost no emotional background but some kind of strong energy.
Places where something happened, but nobody knows what exactly.
How do you relate yourself to the people you take the pictures of? How do you look for the right body and the right face for your projects? How do you explain your ideas?
I prefer when the models really want to be the part of the photography and the whole creative process. The person, who believes in my work and vision is the right face and the right body and only this kind of model can give his or her whole energy and concentration to the picture- what is usually the thing I want and expect. Of course sometimes there are certain visual criteria, but an ability to play the role and to be truly present in the photo shoot is the most important.
May I ask you if it ever happen then that you see a person and only then you start sewing the story? Instead of looking for actors for ideas you already thought of.
People are my biggest inspiration and wherever I am, I’m looking for the person who may inspire me. I’m allowing myself to fall in love as often as possible, to be deeply fascinated and driven by any kind of attraction. The final character is always the mixture or reality, imagination, glamorization and myself.
Tell me something about the nude portraits, for example, what was the creative process from the inspiration to the realization of the images?
It always starts with an idea. The picture is already in my head and I’m just trying to transform the vision into reality. To take the picture is for me only the last step, the easiest one. My work is to create the whole illusion, which eventually becomes real for a moment. The inspiration is something that drags me forward so intensely that it becomes the most important of my basic needs. While having an idea I believe in, I cannot really sleep or do anything else until the moment I bring it to life. It is the feeling of the great fascination and importance, which is almost outreaching me and it is pulling me through the whole process almost without my notice.
But if you want to know something more concrete I went to cca 50 locations to find the right one, I was searching for people willing to participate constantly and it was not easy. Sometimes the owner of the building didn’t even know what we were doing behind (unlocked) door and I needed to do everything really quickly and secretly, before anybody could notice. We went through all kind of difficulties and strange situations you can imagine, but tonight I have to admit that these critical moments are my best memories.
I am really curious about the choice to shoot couples of models. What’s the story?
It is called CLOSE, and it is about different kind of relationships, about the connection and the bond between people. Each couple as well as the detail of the hands represents every time different kind of relationship.
Have you ever though to make self portraits? How would that be? How do you see yourself?
I think that my self-portrait is somehow always included in all the works I created, so I never felt the need to capture some other documentation of myself as a photographer. My life and my work are strongly connected so I can tell that I can see myself clearly in my photos- maybe even better than in the mirror.
What is your biggest dream about photography? What are you trying to achieve through your art?
I want to go deeper into topics I’m interested in. Through my work I want to inform about things which are important, to make people notice and to make people care.
I want to live and to create. I want to do it without any limitations if possible. I hope I will never loose my passion or at least always find a new one. I wish a life full of intensity, whatever it will be.