The essence of the series ‘Together Apart’ lies not in focusing on a consistent subject, but in the development of a method that revolves around duality and dialogue.
The work shows intimate portrayals of the experience of photographing together despite being physically separated.
artist: Ritsch Sisters
project: Together Apart
published by : Pool Publishing
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your ongoing series ‘Together Apart’?
‘Together Apart’ came to life very naturally in the sense that we started working together in 2020 but living apart, Anna in New York and Maria in Vienna.
The essence of the series ‘Together Apart’ lies not in focusing on a consistent subject, but in the development of a method that revolves around duality and dialogue. The work shows intimate portrayals of the experience of photographing together despite being physically separated. Although Anna currently lives in New York City and Maria in Vienna, our shared upbringing forms the foundation of our collaborative photographic and artistic practice. The ongoing Series also serves us to unveil and explore the layers of our interconnected lives, visually narrating tales of growth, introspection, sisterhood, conscious and subconscious connections, intuition and gender dynamics.
How do you approach selecting and combining the photographs for this series to create new dialogues and abstract poems?
Our approach involves creating a large collection of images that we constantly play with, forming an extensive visual archive.
Within this archive, we engage in collaborative discussions to uncover the narratives and themes present in each photograph. We delve into the essence of the images, seeking their resonance and meaning within our series. Through thoughtful conversations, we interpret and understand the images, shaping an evolving visual narrative.
To enhance this process, we have also curated a collection of evocative titles and word combinations that we turn into abstract poems. This collection inspires us and helps us forge connections between the images. Sometimes, the perfect title already exists within our collection, seamlessly blending with an image to create a harmonious fusion of visual and linguistic expression. Other times, we create new titles that precisely convey the emotions and concepts we aim to communicate.
Each combination becomes an artistic conversation, inviting viewers to join in on their own interpretive journey. They can weave together the threads of meaning and emotion that uniquely resonate with their own experiences.
How do you balance individual authorship with the idea of ‘together’ in your work?
At the core of our artistic practice is the belief that our creative output should serve as a reflection of our shared vision and collaborative spirit. We made a conscious decision that individual authorship would take a backseat, allowing the collective voice to emerge and shape the narrative of our work. By embracing the notion of ‘together’, we embrace collective consciousness that surpasses individual egos, placing the emphasis on the shared experience and collaborative exploration. This deliberate choice creates a harmonious union where our ideas, perspectives, and artistic instincts intertwine, enriching the creative practice as a whole.
In your opinion, how do photos contribute to a broader dialogue on topics such as separation, togetherness, and human connection?
Photographs have always been a tool of communication, and a very powerful one that can be very positive in the sense of creating connectivity and breaking down stereotypes beyond the restrictions of language.
Through photographs we can see and hear stories that can open our understanding and awareness. Photographs in our current time literally move beyond borders. We are talking here about using photos with the right intentions of course. Photos have a powerful impact on conversations about separation, togetherness, and human connection, especially as we are constantly surrounded by images nowadays. They capture the essence of these themes, evoke emotions, and stimulate discussions. By showcasing the diverse facets of the human experience, photos contribute to a broader dialogue, fostering empathy, understanding, and collective action.
Can you share with us a particularly memorable moment or experience you had (if you had one) while photographing this ongoing series?
Most of the photos we choose for the series are very much connected to memorable moments for us and sometimes only even later we understand why we photographed what we photographed.
It is hard to come up with one particular moment. For us photography invites us to be fully present - almost as a form of meditation - to immerse ourselves in the world around us, and to be receptive to the unexpected moments that unfold before our eyes. It is within these moments that we feel a deep connection to our surroundings.
It is also important to us to engage the viewer as part of the process and experience and evoke their own personal connections to what is seen.
editor : Ecaterina Rusu