Saturday, March 8, 2014

Q&A with Irina

This months cover by
Aleksandar Ares, with layout by K.K.W.
On the cover, Irina Sarnetskaya.
Irina: A series of straight-forward questions. Photos & interview by K.K.W

Originally from Riga, Latvia, she grew up in the Bay-Park Sector of Brooklyn, N.Y. From Edward R Murrow to F.I.T (Fashion Institute Of Technology), she has pursed her craft, knowledge, and life with equal intensity. I caught-up with her @ while back in New York a few weeks ago.   
Irina. @ Light-Space studios,
for the "Transcend"
(Unreleased controversial documentary)
by J.Leigh Brantly, which she edited. 
K.K.W: Reaching back, what made you decide to pursue art?

I.S:  I didn't pursue "art." I pursued "craft." I liked the way photography made me feel and the connection it gave me to subjects.

K.K.W: Photography is considered an art-form, and yet its become almost a cliche; How do you view your work in the medium between these two point?

I.S: The word "art" is a cliché. "Art" is too subjective to be taken so seriously, and I believe in "function first." I like photographing because I feel good doing it. Others tell me they feel good when they see my work, therefore validating it socially. 
K.K.W: What is  it that you get, from photography? A need to observe, visual exploration, or  does it feed a need for power through the appropriation of the subject?

I.S: See above. 

K.K.W: Being as photographers (especially those who are artists) control what the viewer sees & presents it in a certain context, would you say your work is a subjective form of representation?

I.S: Yes.

K.K.W: At this point in your career, its obvious your into all things....kinky and perverse. Are you a pervert? And is this something you consider "art"?

I.S: See above.
K.K.W: After....seeing (I still can't believe I saw that) your "film" de-railed on Sat [3/1/14 - @ CineKink], what led you towards being involved in what could be considered "gay-porn"?

I.S: I don't consider de-railed a "gay porn." I see is as pansexual, sex positive, educational. It starts with a girl on guy, then goes to guy on guy, then the girl comes over and ties a guy up, then back to guy on guy. Gay porn implies only one gender and de-railed has both.

K.K.W: Being a woman wasn't easy before you were born (if ever), and despite changes  within this society, do you find that its tough to gain respect and or advance yourself in what's still a man's world [to touch on the song by James Brown]?

I.S: I don't think "this is a man's world," James. People have their privileges, some have more than others. The other day a straight guy told me that he cashes in on his "free drink privilege" by going to "gay bars" - it blew my mind.I tend to step away from people who tell me that we live in a man's world, because saying that perpetuates an "us against them" mentality. I prefer to take a humanist perspective by opting to spend time with allies and humans who respect me. I believe in making what doesn't work obsolete, and that is done by focusing on what does work. 

Photography (film & digital), mixed-media, film-editing, creating & directing,  Irina is certainly as ambitious as she is talented. Outside of that, she's a seriously interesting person with a fierceness and a unique personality. Recently she's  had two short films premiered; "De-Railed" @ The 2014 CineKink (the kinky film festival), and a documentary she edited, "Transcend: Unreleased controversial documentary"
by J.Leigh Brantly (which was screened @ Light-Space Studios).  She's currently living & operating in Oakland California (much to the dismay of those who miss her in NYC). 

If you would like to know more, go, or: "Art is the reason, art is the way"  

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