24 November 2009

An image I can relate to

The Guardian runs a series called "Best Shots," where a different photographer is profiled each week. This photo from 18 November 2009 is one of my favorites, especially in conjunction with the resonant explanation by the artist.

This picture is called Invasion of Everything That Was Restrained. It's basically a lot of paper balls hanging in the air. They're meant to represent ideas that you had but didn't follow through on: they're still around, invading your space.

It was very simple to set up. I hung the paper balls up with transparent line then shot the picture. Afterwards, on the computer, I had to remove a couple of bits of string that were visible; but other than that, it's all as it was.

I took the shot for a big exhibition in Brazil in 2005 called Between the Rain and the Snowman, a line inspired by the lyrics of Leonard Cohen's Love Calls You By Your Name. When I listened to the song, I started to think about the relationship between rain and snowmen, which I realised was very circular: the rain comes, we get a freeze, we make a snowman, it melts and we start again.

I shot it in a corner of my studio in Brazil. So the bits of paper represent all my own bad ideas, the projects I never finished – and they are invading my space, for real. But the picture is meant to be about more than my own personal life: it's about the life that everybody leads.

My titles are all important. They are the starting point for the work. But the combination of title and picture is like a marriage – sometimes it works incredibly well, sometimes it's not so good. My work is about action. I construct all my photographs, almost like sculpture or an installation. But I use very simple elements, just the things we have around us, to say something important and poetic. It needn't be complicated.

Sara Ramo: Movable Planes is at the Photographers' Gallery, London W1, until 31 January.


Born: Madrid, 1975

Studied: Went to university in Brazil at the age of 21. "But you need to discover art on your own."

Inspirations: Brassaï, US photographer Francesca Woodman.

High point: "A very experimental piece for the Venice Biennale."

Top tip: "I feel I am always learning. I start every day fresh. That's the best way for the artist to be."

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