Ioana Cristina Casapu – THE BEAUTY OF HAZARD FROM EVERYDAY LIFE
IOANA IS PART OF PROJECTS THAT HAVE BEEN INTRIGUING US FOR A LONG TIME. OFTEN, WHAT SHE WRITES HAS A VISUAL REPRESENTATION, AND WHAT SHE PRODUCES VISUALLY, POLAROID IMAGES OF COMMON WORLD, HAVE IN ATTACHMENT A STORY IN WORDS. THE MIX, FOCUSED ON THE CLOSEST, TANGIBLE, REALITY OF OUR LIVES, PRODUCES A WARM, SURPRISING EMOTION THAT YOU WOULD NOT HAVE GUESSED IN SUCH COMMON SCENES.
WHEN DID YOU FIND YOUR CALLING IN CREATIVE FIELDS?
Officially, in the 11th grade, when I told my parents, among many hours of math and Physics lessons, that I wanted to become a journalist. Unofficially, perhaps in my childhood, when I had the habit of recording radio broadcasts invented by me on audio tapes. Or when, taking as example the few glossy magazines I had in my house at that time, after the revolution, I was making my own magazines on 50-60 sheets of A4, which I composed and illustrated in the face and likeness of the characters and events of my imagination. Things have not changed much since then. I stopped my journalism studies, I went to ASE and SNSPA, and started working on television in the 2nd year of university. I have experimented with many so-called creative fields, but I’ve always felt that the publishing industry was my home and I think this is the way I want to follow.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY FOR YOU? HOW AND WHERE DOES IT BEGIN?
Creativity occurs at the encounter of three or more things that really fascinate us.
TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR PROJECTS AND THE CHANGE IT BRINGS TO THE WORLD.
The artistic community of Romanian Polaroid Photographers is one of my super personal projects. At one point I was in a relationship with a photographer and when he returned to Romania for a short time in 2013, he had a Mamiya which took Polaroid pictures. I fell in love with that precarious format -so fluid at the same time- the same way I first fell in love with that boy many years ago. It had an asymmetric fragility that you cannot read in any of the digital environments. The first time I released the film covering a Polaroid, I thought of all those moving emotions that come out on the surface without ever knowing how they will transform, if you got the right temperature, exposure, etc. I think it’s the closest to the real expression of the hazard in everyday life. It’s an expensive and endangered format, but I’ve always liked endangered stories, all other things being as handy as a comedy by Woody Allen. The Romanian Polaroid Photographers took place in a short time as the first artistic community in Romania that uses instant film as a photographic expression medium. We started with a collective exhibition in Barcelona in 2015, continuing with an annual show. Romanian Polaroid Photographers was thought to be an export artistic project. I wanted the abroad audience to better understand the art produced in Romania and to have a particular view on this niche in the photo that is now in our hands. The show in Bucharest had its first edition in 2016 and followed the same formula as in Barcelona: a complex product at the intersection between photographic art, design and installation in an exhibition place, bringing together people with backgrounds in journalism, design, architecture and wood processing.
Recently, I remembered that over time, more collaborators, clients, or sponsors asked me how I sustain this project or why it continues if it does not bring money. I realized that the goal of this project was never to make money and that I’ve never thought of closing it because of that. Some people said it was a vanity project. I think it is one of the best and healthiest things that happened to me from a creative point of view. This project taught me to go along with the people involved in all stages of creation and production , from idea to outcome, from areas like managing, accounting, sponsorship, partnership and communication, helping me to better manage my work with friends, with strangers and specialists.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT DURING A PROJECT IS WHEN …
the wheels are moving and the collective energy of those involved becomes the engine of thousands horsepower.
WHAT IS THE MOST DESIRABLE THING YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE THROUGH YOUR ACTIVITY?
Emotion. Making people feel.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN THE FUTURE OF YOUR ACTIVITY?
I would like to see the following volumes published outside of Romania, my on-going personal projects ready to be launched, and me embracing my fears. I would like to start doing photography again and move back to Germany this year. I would like to travel with my work and live as much as possible (not necessarily in terms of years, but of experience) – because these are the vital things for a writer.
WHAT HELPED YOU TO GET HERE?
My belief that I can go only forward and my desire to reach as many people as possible, to establish communication bridges through creation that brings us closer. I am also helped by my resourceful thoughts that I still have hundreds of things I want to do and discover in the next 40 years and that procrastination is a small thing when we think of Michelangelo’s daily agenda.
PHOTOGRAPHY + CREATIVE WRITING =?
A successful mix of expression, at least for my personality that cannot decide on a single passion.
WHAT‘S THE KEY OF COLLABORATION WITH OTHER CREATIVES?
Empathy, respect for work and synchronicity, all these converge to what we can call creative synergy. Teamwork is not easy; we have so many examples of joint ventures that have failed for ego or personal / business mismatch, despite their potential. I think any creative initiative needs solid and rational support to happen and persist.
YOUR ADVICE FOR A CREATIVE-ENTREPRENEUR COLLABORATION
I remember a dinner at my home with several people where we discussed the subject “how to make an artist feel safe today” at the initiative of a girlfriend who is an artist and on the other hand a specialist engineer in an industrial niche. The answer that came to us was that the economic parties need creative people as much as the artists need financial institutions to support their progress and innovation.
The ideal relationship is a symbiotic one. The entrepreneur (who at one point was an initiator) needs to accept the artist‘s needs to integrate and evolve into the real world, taking into consideration the monetary implications. On the other hand, the artist needs to adapt to the real business world and support it through its creative abilities. At least in an ideal world.
MAGAZINES AND BLOGS MORE OR LESS KNOWN THAT YOU READ
The school of life – Alain De Botton
‘CAN DESIGN SAVE THE WORLD’ ?
On the principle that “when everything else fails”, there is art, I think that any act of creation can save the world as long as it is done with soul, conscientiously and with the premise of improving the lives of those who connect with it.
A THOUGHT THAT MOTIVATES YOU
Live every day as if tomorrow is the last day.
Also, I am motivated by people I used to envy for the way they managed to build things and move people’s hearts. I have learned to turn jealousy into admiration, because they are the most valuable engine that keeps my personal dreams, wishes and motivation alive: Cristian Lupsa (From A Journal), Jovanny Ferreyra-Varela (The Artidote), Brandon Stanton Esther Perel, Cheryl Strayed, Maria Popova (brainpickings.com), Elena Marcu, and Black Button Books, my colleagues at Thought Catalog New York.
A THOUGHT TO INSPIRE US
Not everyone wants to become the voice of his generation, but we all want to be accepted and appreciated for what we really are. This way, we are all valuable, important and authentic, not because I say so, but because that’s the way everyone is free to feel.
credit photo: Ionuţ Staicu