Thursday, March 20, 2008

Olivier Laude Interview

When I first moved to SF I somehow got myself invited to a party of SF editorial photographers. I guess my plan was to ingratiate myself to them, appropriate all of their clients, and then launch my career, and it was all to take place at this party. There was this dude in the kitchen who was holding court, spouting frustrated yet intelligent observations about the industry and essentially commenting on how moronic the whole business was. He said he was a documentary photographer. He was pure acid, but then his wife would come by and kind of laugh and make everything seem ok. This was my first introduction to Olivier Laude.

A few years later Laude tried to make a push into the world of advertising photography. In an attempt to create advertising work, Laude began creating a body of work that really had nothing to do with advertising, but solidly found his voice and his own way of making photographs. Out of default, he created the defining work of his career. That work can be seen HERE.

It was clear to me that O.L. could not really steer his vision. It was strong and it was coming out and he really wasn't willing to get in it's way. At the time I was trying to push the Sex Machine work, trying to get a book deal, trying to get it in front of people. I looked at a bunch of Olivier's work, asked him why he wasn't trying to push it harder down everyone's throat, and he explained that it is really just nice to be working without outside pressure. It's nice to just create. His sentiments made me feel like a shameless climber.

So, just thought we'd do a quick Q and A with Laude, to see what is up with his blog "Dear Leader". Like many things, its just never simple. As Laude explains : I think I struggled too much with this one for it to be good. I just don't enjoy talking about myself...

None the less, it is an interesting view into his brain. started blogging, got an audience, then pulled the plug. Why?

Firstly: I have not pulled the plug per say, anyone who asks will get a password unless they all apply at the same time and on the same day.

In a nutshell, I felt that I was censoring myself and that the quality was starting to suffer.
Secundely: I am going to try to write a poorly written book. I have no real intentions of becoming an author, but figured that it might not be a bad idea to give it a shot, just to see if I can do it.
Ever since last April when I began blogging, I was happy to discover that I could write on a daily basis, consistently and somewhat well.... and so I think, and so it goes, and one gets illusions of grande oeuvre.
Except that there are people, like you, who think me "un-comprehensible". You obviously wouldn't be part of my readership, as it is mostly comprised of 18 to 44 year olds and whose exceptional income, higher education and family fortunes have provided me with ample time and monstrous amounts of capital to lavish and subsequently serve, further, refine and aggrandize childhood dreams of martyrdom.
Thircundely: It is only by hiding behind a firewall that I may truly give free rein to my vilest and most profoundly disturbing instincts. Short teaser clips will be made available for download.

Having known you over the years, the one thing I can say is that you are very consistent. Your art is as hard to "get" as your personality is. When you started blogging, the posts were obviously intelligent, but also typically un-comprehensible. Yet, the audience embraced you. Were you surprised you had a readership?

I don't think I ever really thought about that too much. Those are your perceptions, as I do not see myself as incomprehensible, but understand where you are coming from. In many ways my entries were reflective of how my mind generally works. It serves to demonstrate what goes on when I am alone, skimming that sugary scum and off that tub of condensed milk, and which I am proud to call: " Thy-Home-Office".
The older I get, the more jumbled and unintelligible I become, which can only mean one or two things: That I am being personable, or that I am being myself, without realizing that the consequences of said ruminations are incomprehensible and unintelligible to others; abrogating any future profits from those "mostly comprised of 18 to 44 year olds and whose exceptional income, higher education and family fortunes have provided me with ample time and monstrous amounts of capital to lavish and subsequently serve, further, refine and aggrandize childhood dreams of martyrdom".

I am by no means disconnected from the world, but the minute I sit down to write or pronounce my eternal and monastic dominion over my photographic "Oeuvre", my conscious efforts at maintaining a respectable and civilized facade falls off and with it, it is escapism I embrace.

Do you think your audience understood what you were talking about, or were they just going along with you to appear cool?
Those would be rather contrived, convoluted and lengthy ways to project an appearance of "coolness". Maybe when I was thirteen I may have wanted this affectation projected onto my equally miserable scholastic companions. And, if I remember correctly, it was only meant to awkwardly impress upon some fictitious female companion that she would have been better off had she agreed to dispense with those vividly imagined candy red French under-garments.
I am sure that those results will be remarkably similar to my other efforts, which is to say, chaotic and unpredictable. But as long as I am cool or perceived as such by those school yard coeds, I am willing to continue surviving exclusively on a diet of cream of wheat and "Lite Water".
I always figure my audience is all photographers. Who did you think was your readership?

I have no real idea as to whom my audience is, but as I have already mentioned it would stand to reason that since I am a photographer, and that I am somehow linked to and feted by other photographers, that sadly my readership would chiefly be composed of photographers.

Ok, so you have bailed. What is the future of this blogging thing? What is next for OL?

I would not mind getting a private pilot's license, and/or travel back in time to that fateful day in 83 and rob you of your identity, and/or father the most perfect love-ghost-child with "Mumzy", Eleanor Roosevelt's famed bookie, bitch, and American Pitbull Terrier, and/or compile my personal field collection of African cricket sneezes and make it available on-line, and/or expose myself fully to Holland America cruise directors, and/or backstage to "Cirque du Soleil" funambulists..... as I cunningly and craftily understand that performers are not swiftly or easily able to separate reality from common fantasy.

all photographs by olivier laude


Anonymous said...

I first became aware of OL on a comment he posted on this blog. He said something about TA being a sell out or the like. I remember thinking: "Damn!!!!" (not knowing your history) I thought it was hilarious.

So, I started reading his blog at that point... most of the time not understanding a word of it, yet continually reading.

I think if there is a polar opposite of me it would be OL... For every one of my bland boring photos and blog post, he would counter with something that was interesting and not of this world. I was clearly one of the ones going along with it to seem cool.

I enjoyed this exit interview... and as expected I understood every word of TA's questions but didn't quite grasp all the answers.


Timothy Archibald said...

Thanks for that Jeff. Glad to hear that someone read this posting!

Ms Frapcious said...

Hmmm, things really changed when mankind started to accumulate things; things that he didn't necessarily depend on for survival. All those things started to have staying power and that meant someone had to create some kind of ranking system, filing system and finally some kind of rules about ownership. Communication evolved into compilable art, somehow burying self discovery under so much accumulated history.
I guess what this entry made me think about was the precious artistic exchange between creator and initial viewer.
After that exchange,
It's all been done.

Anonymous said...

per se

Ian Aleksander Adams said...

I love this guy. I need to ask for a password.

Rob Haggart said...

Oh, thank god I'm not the only one who doesn't understand what the hell he's talking about.

Glad you did the interview tho. Now, at least, I know he exists.

Anonymous said...

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olivier laude said...

That last paragraph, is nice... i.e I like... a for the nitwit who so kindly corrected 'per se", I am glad i was able to waste your time... as for Jeff"s comment...thanks.. Rob...I think we met or did that funky freak goofy ass dream catcher wipe your memory clean off??;-)...BTW, blog still up and running but standards have been seriously lowered...

buy viagra without prescription said...

hahahahaha!! some of the photos are really good, I agree , the reality is together the common fantasy, I think that your thinks are really good, I would like to be like you!!22dd

iserve pharmacy said...

I remember the day when Olivier Laude tried to make advertising, it was like a serendipity for his benefit, and he found his own style that has made him famous!


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