a little while ago – in September, I introduced Ruth Viridis to you by providing her 10 Statements (10 Statements – Ruth Viridis). Dedicated to antique letters as well as rock ‘n’ roll and Photoshop, the care of her granny, a student job and, of course, those university exams, she finally granted me her Tuesday lunch break for a short interview.
Ruth, you like being focused by a camera. Are you a narcissist?
Of course I am a narcissist. I believe that most people, who haven’t the slightest narcissist tendencies wouldn’t in the least be interested in posing in front of a camera. At the same time, I am relatively self-critical. This is a means of self-reflection. All right, I am a narcissist within a reasonable scale, and I like playing with it.
When did you start to pose in front of the camera – and what triggered you?
I really started in September. My youngest sister already did it and the photographer asked my other sister to pose. I approached him myself – and that was how it began. Initially, I did it without major expectations – I just wanted to have some photographs of myself. And it was fun! I realised I could accomplish things – artistic ideas – and I carried on.
You are often vibrant, and you often appear dreamy. Are you really authentic in front of the camera?
Yes and no. On the one hand, I play roles when posing. As it is when acting, you can play a role only by feeling the respective role’s emotions. And in this moment, of course, I am authentic in my role.
Why do you let them take your photographs?
Why shouldn’t I? I want these photographs. Moreover, I am really glad if I can show people something beautiful, making them happy and perhaps even inspire them to think about themselves and about the perception they have of themselves – whereas I cannot tell if the latter works…
You have a pretty artistic aura – even when you are fully concentrated. Do you also call the shots?
Yes, of course. I am… This is a kind of flow when I am really concentrated and I know exactly what I’m doing – and try to pose to provide the viewers with the impressions of my choice. I communicate with the photographer to achieve this. I am deeply engrossed in posing, and this is pretty favourable as I no longer care about how I look but about what impressions I want to provide. I do no longer care who is watching me, I just care about expressing my emotions.
Is there an interface between a psychotherapy session and several hours in front of the camera?
Yes, absolutely. With this in mind that I inwardly experience, take on roles, I can reflect on myself. And can broaden my horizons. This is certainly not a talk-therapy; I still consider it psycho-therapeutically valuable.
What is it that makes a photo remarkable? And what qualities does an ideal photograph need to have?
This is the interplay of all things: you need an excellent photographer, you need effective communication with your photographer, so that he knows what you want, and time, and obviously the right accessories, as you need to feel fine; and then – this is really thrilling for a great photo is the ability to act. There are so many bad examples on the web: nice costumes, awesome make-up, the model’s expression is (however) empty – and this is a real pity. There is just no thrill. The thrill lies within the facial expression and the gestures.
What about post-processing!
Yes, excellent post-processing is vital. Many people consider this modification as alienation or perfecting of a photo; this makes you feel bad compared to the photo – as people are not that perfect. From an artistic point of view, post-processing means giving the desired impression. And why not doing post-processing? Each era knew different beauty ideals. If you look at portraits of Marie Antoinette, for example, you see that it was modified to fit into an ideal. I think that the adaptation to an ideal or a piece of art is not in the least something negative.
Do you consider yourself pretty?
I’d rather say handsome. For a long time I didn’t really consider myself pretty. And I’d say that being pretty is not really something I am striving for – as it is rather outward. This expression relates only to the façade. Handsome is everything – including behaviour, the art of communicating with others. This is my ideal.
Did you ever dream of becoming a model?
No. Then I’d have to do what the others want from me – instead of following and realising my own ideas.
What tips do you have for all those who would like to pose?
Do not think about possible impressions; think about trying what you want, what you like. Then you realise what provides great impressions.
What is going to happen next – photograph-wise?
There are many projects. The next one will comprise roses. My carnival costume – Bloody Mary – inspired me for this topic. My boyfriend favours an American Beauty staging with roses – inspired by the movie poster. This is exciting!
Thank you very much for these amazing insights and stunning photographs, Ruth! Slainte!