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Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality.
— Andrei Tarkovsky
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S&F: What inspired you to participate in this project for “Still Here” issue of Spirit and Flesh Magazine and where did you draw the idea from for the shoot?

FM:  I thought of the notion of time and stretching time and thought about two films: Chris Marker’s La Jetée (made out of still frames) and Tarkovsky’s last film The Sacrifice. The Sacrifice is very apocalyptic and the opening shot is the longest take Tarkovsky ever did. In the film an announcement is made declaring an impeding world catastrophe. After this point the family sits quiet in waiting. The feeling of time stretching is immense. My favorite cinematographer, Sven Nyqvist, is the eye of this film. It is set on the island of Gotland/Fårö, my childhood summer paradise, which is a very barren landscape. It is quite unsettling, but I love the beautiful, simple setting of this film and the mood that it invokes.

S&F: How did you set the stage, so to speak, at the photo studio?

FM: I shot at a storefront in Harlem that was redesigned as a temporary house, the place was so intriguing, it had everything: a bedroom with dreams coming down from the ceiling, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bar and even a garden in the back made out of astro turf. We moved between the different setups and spent the most time experimenting in the bedroom scene and garden. It felt as though we were playing house, and the models, who sometimes needed to act rather than pose, related to each other like an artificial family. It was an inspired collaboration and everyone was very involved.

Go to full interview with Florence Montmare by Sarah Zaid and Michelle Lachman for Spirit and Flesh Magazine