Midnite Collective interviews Krist Mort, Photographer
Medium: Hands, light and whatever camera is lying around
Based in: Austria
Years Active: I feel like I only just start getting “active” with each new project I do…
Most Recent Clients: Sisters of the Black Moon, Kringa, Ovate, Hunter Gatherer Jewellery, Deathkings
Current Albums in Rotation: I recently re-discovered my obsession with The Knife, so pretty much everything by them, Coil’s “Music To Play In The Dark” and “Grotto of Miracles” by Sun City Girls
You join this Communion all the way from Austria, a region surrounded by beautiful and haunting wilderness. With your photography, you typically shoot many of your pieces in nature. How are you inspired by your surroundings? And, how do you generally search for a location for your shoots?
I think my surroundings (how I respond to them and vice versa) are always the most important part of shooting and, you could say, my biggest influence. There is a rough idea, some sort of concept, but I never know exactly how I’m going to realize it until I am on set and see how everything interacts in that very moment.
Moving to the city was a rather big change for me and my work. And changes can be scary, but I think they’re necessary sometimes. And they definitely were for me. I learned to appreciate the harsh and gritty atmosphere and how I could incorporate it into my photographs. I just never want to limit myself, so I enjoy nature just as much as structured, urban surroundings.
Are there any specific photographers, videographers, artists, musicians, or other entities (classic and/or new alike) that inspire and trigger your work and overall creative vision?
There are many artists of all kinds whose work I truly adore. I don’t think any of it actually triggers mine, but I guess the most inspiring part of seeing or listening to another artists work is always to witness all the different ways to approach and realize a theme.
Photography is a very tricky medium when you work with film. With modern technology pushing the digital cameras to the masses, film is becoming more rare than ever. What is your creative process when you shoot your film? What kind of post-production work do you typically go through?
I might be a bit of a compulsive person. So, when I shoot, I have to be very much in control and be involved 100%. Not only when pressing the shutter, but also when it comes to the developing and post-production. I want to use my hands, experiment and manipulate. And I want to be able to learn from (and appreciate!) mistakes, instead of just “deleting” them. Working analogue simply gives me all these opportunities. I can feel and smell my creations instead of just watching them on a screen. My kind of “editing” can be anything, from purposely messing up the developing process to damaging the negatives or smearing something on the print before scanning.
Recently, you have released two very special books. One being a very limited, hand-crafted collection of specific works. And now a larger publication collecting even more works of yours with a limited edition (that sold out quite quickly, might I add!). Please tell us more about this; how it came to pass and what you were looking for from your books. Do you have plans to do any more special collections like this in the future?
The wooden “My” books were simply a small DIY project that I realized with recycled materials I had gathered over the time. I will be honest and admit that my talents when it comes to handicrafts are VERY limited, but nevertheless I still enjoy crafting something from time to time.
The recent INLUMAEH release was only made possible with the help of Frederic from Cyclic Law. We were planning a sort of collection of past and present works for quite some time and I was over the moon when I found out that Lamia Vox would be part of the whole project as well. Eventually, there were so many great and inspiring people involved (including Kim Solve who is responsible for the layout, and Audrey Cantwell of Ovate, who made the special linen bags for the limited editions) that I really couldn’t have asked for more.
I would love to do some special themed photo books in the future too…
You have begun to transition into motion photographs recently; taking the alluring and haunting imagery you create and applying it to movement in what also looks as though it is vintage film. How did you make this progression? What types of projects do you have in store?
I have always been obsessed with challenges. And making motion pictures is just that: a big challenge, an unknown world that I have yet to comprehend and figure out my place in it. For now, I’m simply having fun with learning and trying different things and techniques. I don’t necessarily want to carry over the exact same style that I also use in my photographs, but instead, want to find a way to express myself differently within this medium.
At the moment, I am working on a series of fashion short films with different designers and stores.
Participating in this years Communion, Krist will have a select amount of her work displayed and available for purchase. To see her stills in person, visit The Complex in Los Angeles on November 15th for Midnite Communion II. For further information as well as a way to buy products from Krist as well as commission her works, visit www.kristmort.com.