ANTHONY GERACE: A writer. This was the plan from about age 10 until I actually tried to do it, when I failed miserably and bottomed out of a creative writing program. But I bought a camera in high school so there was some inkling of what I really should’ve been in there, somewhere.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
AG: Definitely Roe Ethridge and Collier Schorr, as photographers. I think they’re the most interesting people working at the moment and I find the way they straddle commercial work and art really inspiring for its humour and strangeness. Otherwise, landscapes and the project I have coming up in Utah…That’s a constant source of excitement and inspiration at the minute.
JC: What are you up to right now?
AG: I’m about to embark on the biggest photo project of my career: I’ll be travelling to Box Elder county to photograph the Spiral Jetty and the landscape and community surrounding it. I’ll be living out there for two weeks and going to different sites daily and trying to get the whole experience of the place. I launched a Kickstarter back in June and it is now funded.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
AG: I had a few people I studied under that helped me hugely in finding out what I wanted to do: Lewis Nicholson and Roderick Grant were two sides of the coin that was the most important year in my life, my final year in art school (at OCADU, Toronto). Lewis was totally encouraging and supportive and Roderick was a source of total stress and consternation that revealed itself as a care I’ve never had from a teacher before. I love those two.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
AG: I’m based in London, and it’s really changed the way I engage with my work. I’m never sure of my footing here, which has made me focus on collage and photography so much more and made almost everything else in my life a distraction. I don’t know if it’s the healthiest place to live, or the sanest. But I love it.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
AG: Honestly, I’m just going to copy and paste this from our last interview, because it’s really held true for me: Forget about concepts, at least for awhile. Focus on the technical end and don’t get caught in the trap of having an idea before beginning shooting. Ideas will come with, and be shaped by, doing the work. The school I went to pushed concept over craft and led to a lot of lazy photography that could be post-rationalized in critiques but was often meaningless and trite. Basically, forget everything you were taught and just take pictures constantly, of everything and everyone, until you’ve realized what your own particular voice is. And then ignore that voice and just keep shooting.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
AG: Graphic design, I guess. It’s what I studied and what I went back to school for, but I really hope I don’t have to fall back on it - at least not too much.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
AG: Yes and no. I came from a city with a totally caring and supportive community and I think if you’re not careful that kind of community leads to passivity and solipsism. When I moved to London I felt anything between light hostility toward what I did and complete indifference, and that made me push so much harder to prove myself, and I think it makes your work mature way faster. But I also think it’s really important to have people to bounce ideas off of, to feel a kinship with, and to hang out with when the day is done. So, yes.