Aitor Gametxo is a 23 year old photographer from Basque Country. His work is mainly dealing with memory, chance, identity and representation. He remembers how he started photographing and tells us about all things that inspire or frighten him.
How did you start working with cameras?
I have just remembered when I used to play with a Fisher Price toy camera when I was a child. It used to take real analogue pictures. I remember once when my dad and I climbed a little mountain near my hometown. The pictures are crap, but I guess they serve as memories. Then, as I was fascinated by images, I got a Film and Communication Degree at University, and started introducing myself into photography. Four years ago, I got a Smena Symbol, and I started practising with it. It was really fun “making” your own pictures with its totally mechanical settings. I also had a Canon digital reflex camera but the problem was that as I’m myopic (almost blind with 6 dioptries in each eye) I didn’t get to focus my pictures from the camera’s viewer. It was really frustrating. So I got a Canon AE-1, less than a year ago, and It’s perfect because apart from setting, the diaphragm and the shutter on your own, it squeals at you if the picture is getting focused.
What kind of things inspire you?
In general, I’m inspired by people who are able to look at things in a different way. Film directors, authors, photographers… all kinds of artists. I am very bad at remembering names. I just remember some works. For example, I remember a little documentary film of a young Spanish girl who recorded how she rang some flats’ and houses’ doors and just waited there. All the people who opened the door started asking and talking to this girl but she didn’t answer. She just kept recording until these people got angry, insulted her or just went by. I like this kind of ideas, which make you reflect on artists, as creators, facing their own reality, and, indeed, becoming part of it. When I take pictures I like keeping a documentary aura. This need of looking at things in a different way makes me look for reflections, shadows, sunbeams… and any kind of everyday poetic illustrations. In this way, I don’t like planning what I’m going to shoot. So, I think chance is what moves my work.
What scares you the most?
My mom used to get scared by spiders. Me too. And also, by the future. Right now the future is a huge black hole which is getting closer and closer. Who knows? Maybe it would be better to jump in and see what happens.