Carlos Jiménez: From Where I Am Looking At You (I Can Not See You)
An Interview with Carlos Jiménez
An Article published in The Earth Issue 002: IMPACT
Could you give us a brief introduction to yourself, and your background in photography?
I am a Spanish photographer and filmmaker based in London. After having finished my degree in Fine Arts from Madrid, I permanently relocated to London, where I graduated from the Royal College of Arts. There I was taught by inspirational professors throughout my studies, such as Magnum’s photographer Cristina Garcia Rodero in Madrid, as well as Sarah Jones and Rut Blees Luxemburg in London. Being exposed to these practices, have developed a fluctuation in my work between documentary and fiction; I would like to think of my work as storytelling, conceptually based around anthropological themes, and with strong formalist aeshetics.
What took you to Japan to create this series?
My trip to Japan occurred thanks to an exchange that the Royal College of Arts had been developing for several years. I applied with a project on the Kyoto Protocol, more specifically on its gender representation. The project was intended to link the failure of the agreement with the disproportionately masculine presence within it. I had anticipated some difficulties photographing places and people as a foreigner, but once I got to Japan I found it almost impossible to create a body of work that was somehow representative of my original idea. While being there, I was also working on a side project, which quickly gained momentum. Whilst being able to connect to more people, I started to focus on this project more, and in turn, it ended up merging with my original concept. Although I had to adapt some ideas, the original project was approached in a similar way: Gender roles, constructed structures, and their relation to nature. Perhaps I was naïve, and overly ambitious with my original intentions, but it led me to create a project and explore a topic that I am extremly proud of.
Did you have a strong personal relationship with nature before this project, or did it develop as a result of your research in Japan?
Nature has increasingly become a subject matter in my personal projects throughout the last years, and has shaped my practice as a photographer. Before I studied Fine Arts, I was studying Biology at University and before that I had studied natural science in high school. I wanted to specialize in ecology before deciding to change career paths. I grew up near a national park in the South of Spain, and I used to go camping with my parents during school breaks. On Sundays, we used to go for long walks in the mountains. It has not been until
recently that I put all these things together and embrace nature as a component in my professional work. I find peace in nature now as I live near a big park in London, I go to the forest often and I have started taking nature more seriously as a theme in my work. In the future I would like to take commissions that get deeper into the issues of how modern living is affecting our relationship with nature. We replicate nature in a more or less conscious manner and almost any subject can be explored through nature in some form. It demands a degree of observation that it is very in tune with my way of seeing my practice nowadays.