An interview with Cristina Ramos
Written by Emmy Koski
An interview with Cristina Ramos
Written by Emmy Koski
We were honoured once again with a commission to design the latest issue of Dream magazine, volume 3. Dedicated to the amulet, the magazine evolves and enters new fields. We had a talk with editor-in-chief and creative director Cristina Ramos about conceptualisation, spiritualism, curation, the love for objects and the evolution of nature morte.
DREAM is a printed magazine and an online moving image platform that observes objects from fixation and curiosity. A project that gives special importance to its participant´s different points of view and the relations they establish with artifacts, stimulating the readers through a powerful visual content.
Hey Cristina, how are you?
Busy and happy!
First of all, congratulations on the new issue, beautifully conceptualised and carefully curated.
Thanks so much, I’m very happy with the results and we’re starting to see the project getting to where we wanted creatively…
This is the first issue that is bound to a specific theme. How did this idea arise?
This was actually the original idea – reflecting on our relationship with objects through a specific theme for each issue. But when we started working on the two first issues we found that the subject itself (objects and materia) was strange and conceptual enough for our contributors/readers to get the point anyway. Now, after 2 issues, we felt it was clear enough to start exploring more concise themes.
Amulets evoke thoughts of something esoteric – you mention in the editor’s note that you are an atheist. Would you still consider yourself spiritual?
Yes, I do. I may not believe in god or gods or superpowers but I do believe in energy flows and I know it because I live it in my everyday life: kindness, patience, hard work, smiles, positivity, excitement, politeness etc make that good energy flow back to you. And sometimes objects can inspire you or remind you of all of these feelings and actions.
From my own experience with Odiseo, “strictly” following a theme has its pros and cons. It’s a challenge that requires a certain curation process that goes beyond aesthetics and into a more conceptual and philosophical world. Which is something that can widen your vision and bring your initial ideas to new heights. What’s your experience?
We are not strict at all at Dream Magazine. We are pretty flexible, actually, our idea is to have the most eclectic magazine out there. We want to have as many different points of view as contributors. It’s amazing how everyone understands a theme in their own way. The turnouts from each contributor are very different from one another.
In terms of curation, could you walk me through the process?
It’s pretty chaotic. My assistant Pau probably hates me! I simply see things and send WhatsApps, DMs on Instagram or e-mails, no matter what hour or day, asking her to write it down for me. This is for next issue, that’s for the 6th or 7th issue. Then we have a meeting and put all of it together and, I don´t know how exactly, but it works!
Dream is almost exclusively dedicated to the art of still life. How have you seen it evolve over the last few years, and how do you see it in future?
I don´t know, but I want to see it as it happens! What I do know is that still life is a very old theme in the arts so I guess it will stick around somehow. To me, still lifes (even though I love composing and composition) are about a certain way we look at objects. And today we look at them with a less controlled, more natural approach – just like with fashion photography.
We live in a digital era when almost everything can be reproduced digitally or rendered to perfection. In a still life, what’s the value of real objects?
They are simply cool. We love shapes, forms, textures, colours. And we love to look at them. I am interested in digital renders and 3D too, but they feel dead in a way. A picture with real objects feels somehow more alive, more like a moment you can connect to.
Even if this is “only” the 3rd issue, there is a clear consistency between each feature in terms of subject matter, but also in terms of aesthetics. What comes first, aesthetics or concept?
Concept. Consistent aesthetic only happens because Txema and I have a really strong visual connection and intuition (we are very similar in a way) and are compelled by certain photography / themes. It’s magic.
The new issue features more introducing texts, even poetry, for each story. What was the decision behind this?
We felt that the theme was very abstract this time and because we loved the texts that all the contributors sent us explaining their proposals, which were very sensitive, personal and reflective, we felt it could be beautiful to make a little introduction to each still life edit.
Another recurrent feature is Txema’s Folk Pride. How did this idea arise and what has it come to mean for Dream?
It’s funny you mention this, because the folk photo report has been on his mind for as long as I’ve known him. I had the idea for Dream years later, and when I explained my idea to him he wanted to feature Folk Pride as a piece of research on ‘clothing as object.’ I love it. This is the connection that I was talking about.
This is also the first issue with branded content, in this case, the MAM watches. What’s your approach towards branded content, for Dream and in general?
I am really grateful with MAM for being supportive of Dream. It’s something we’re just starting to explore. My ideal would be to photograph brands in our own way, from a Dream point of view.