Name: Martina Kurai, (real name: Martina Krajnakova)
Tools of trade: Polaroid Supercolor 635CL. My father got it in Soviet Russia more than 30 years ago.
1.Tell us a little (or a lot) about yourself: who are you, where do you live, what inspires you, what made you turn to instant photography and what is your background?
I study social anthropology and Japanese language in London, but I’m a nomad between London, Prague and Vienna. I am a constant observer of human beings and their energies, impulses and choices that both limit and free themselves. I love writing in a free stream of consciousness and then getting shocked by what comes out of me. I write surreal poems to digest the real, and I am in love with analogue photography. I love anything ritualistic, rhythmic, sacred. I often go to museums and sketch masks from Africa and Micronesia. I aspire to be a screenwriter / editor in the future.
To call something as direct inspirations of what I create would be impossible. I don’t know which neuron combinations to thank, which external stimuli are decisive. Perhaps everything comes from trauma, perhaps everything stems from being healed; we cannot know. At least I never got to know the source of my creative streams. I can only notice their presence of them, start swimming in them and enjoy the sensations that are born out of those moments.
I turned to instant photography since the time I picked up a very old Polaroid camera at my former home in Prague. The very same Polaroid was used to document my childhood. When I opened it to put a new stack of papers in, I was surprised to see Russian and was later told that my father got it in Soviet Russia long ago. My love for instant photography is also connected to my journey with analogue photography. Both photographic mediums taught me that slowing down leads me to nurture intimacy in moments, for which I feel grateful.
2. Something nice about the place where you live?
I will choose to talk about Prague since it’s the city I know the best. It’s a liberal place where people feel an intricate right to create their own worlds and subcultures. It’s a magical place, complex enough to get lost in and explore, gentle enough to show you the right way to go. There are countless spots for alternative scenes and cultures, and beer is cheaper than water…
3.A memory you wish you could have imprinted on film but didn’t?
I don’t dwell on specific memories in this way. To answer this questions would be to cut out a piece of my soul and erase the flavour of the context of my life. My whole life is and always will be my favourite memory.
4. Recommend us a site/social link you dig that we should know about. (a.e. an album, a track, a store, a special camera, a film, a motion picture etc.)
I love reading through Juxtapoz magazine (http://www.juxtapoz.com/), especially their Photography and Erotica sections.
The Art & Photography section of AnOther magazine is great too
I love the film Harold and Maude from 1971
And Obedear by Purity Ring has been my number one song for few years now. I only listen to it when I’m entranced into a special moment and that keeps creating a deep, moving sensation to my inner world.
5.Say I give you an instant camera with only one paper left inside. It’s the last instant camera in the world. What would you shoot and why?
I would shoot the sky at daytime. I would do this to shoot a timeless frame, shared and seen by humanity over all our history. It wouldn’t matter that at that point of time, it would be the last camera with the last paper. What would matter is that we are human, have eyes, are alive and the sky will always be there for us, even after we’re gone, even after all the Polaroids of the world are gone. Perhaps this one last picture could establish a new art genre called something like ‘Apocalyptic visual poetry’.