Taking photography as a process of dialogue, the hallmark of Laetitia Bica’s work is the active role that she assigns to her models and the originality of her compositions. Using the camera to blur boundaries, the young Belgian artist vocalizes instincts to produce images where every introspection reflects an event, an encounter, an emulsion. For more check out the interview below and visit her website www.laetitiabica.be and www.bicaboom.tumblr.com.
Whom do you look up to?
No one in particular. I rather admire a state of mind, a phenomenon, a path, or certain acts…
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
Jean-Paul Lespagnard, whom I met when I was 18. He was in a fashion school and I was in a photo school in Liège. I did my final degree project with his final degree collection for school. Events around me, the news, friends or my state of mind are my biggest influences.
What made you want to become a photographer?
When I was a child, I had trouble communicating with other children of my age. Photography was a way to open up the gates of communication. My final degree project (Anachronisme), which was chosen and featured in the Photography Biennal exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum in Santiago, Chile, allowed me to let me know here and abroad.
What was your favourite project and why?
Portraits, mainly, because they allow me to meet many different people with different life paths and personalities. It’s a challenge, because I don’t have a lot of time. When I take portraits, I don’t have any preconceptions about the person facing me. I just try to capture what they agree to reveal about themselves, what they want to give me. It is a truthful reciprocation between us.
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is crossing boundaries. It’s like madness. You don’t have to try to do something attractive or to reproduce something. You just have to do something you feel and experiment it.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Rather than seeing it as a job, you should see it as a way of living. Enjoy it!
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
In “J for Joy” of Gilles Deleuze, during his interview for l’Abécédaire, the journalist said : “Spinoza a fait de la joie un concept de résistance et de vie” (litteraly : “Spinoza made joy a concept of resistance and life”).
Joy of life is a way to make things possible and bring a certain self-accomplishment.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
The biggest compromise I always have to make is commissionned work : you have to consider what you want to give from yourself and what you were asked to do.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion of photography?
No, because I can live my passion everyday. I have this passion in me, it doesn’t live through an object. Even if I get blind someday, I will always try to find something to do. The medium used is not the property of passion. Medium is only a tool. As long as I have something to say, I will always have this passion.
Her Book “FIRST” is now available
FIRST, her first monograph published in Belgium by the Editions du Caïd, compiles several years of visual and artistic research, from her portraits to fashion, including more personal work. First contains many images not seen elsewhere, and broaches certain themes dear to the artist, such as concealment, mimicry, travel, identity or music. In offering a thematic – more than a chronological – reading of her images, the monograph is structured according to these different lines, without however falling into an instructional exercise. The book will be accompanied by a text on transgression, laughter by Jeffrey Tallane.
Inherently Belgian, Bica has nonetheless an appetite for the world which she retranslates in a positive light in her images. Close to musicians, designers, filmmakers and artists, she is an accomplice of a new generation, characterised by its inventiveness, integrity and desire for exploration. FIRST lays claim to an open Belgian identity and energy that is contagious, establishing photography as an ongoing and enriching exchange. The work is intended for a young, creative and cosmopolitan audience, but also for those who are sensitive to this emerging scene. Inclusive and human, Laetitia Bica’s vision is stimulating and appealing, avoiding conflicts to underscore harmony. The book can be purchased here.
All images © Laetitia Bica