Event Q&A: Oliver Blohm in Impossible's 8x8 Exhibition in London

Oliver Blohm appeared in Pryme Magazine, Issue # 3 - "Portraiture," when it debuted March 1st. At the same time Blohm was exhibiting in London for Impossible's 8x8 Exhibition.

Blohm grew up in a small village close to the Baltic Sea - but he found his artistic life, seemingly by chance, in the darkroom of his university, where he reports he was, "locked in the darkroom exploring alternative and experimental photography for the most part during the years of study." Blohm never intended to pursue photography; in school his plan had been to study communication design and media. By chance he got a part-time job opportunity as a university photo lab assistant: he took this as a sign to follow the career path of a photographer.

The Impossible Project's press release for the exhibition:

"To celebrate the launch of the Impossible Instant Lab Universal. Impossible is proud to announce ''8x8''- an exhibition of eight works each from eight distinctive instant photographers. Impossible has selected the eight artists from the USA, and Europe and challenged them to create eight pictures using the Instant Lab with any of Impossible’s color or b&w 600 or SX-70 films. The artists that have been invited by Impossible to contribute their work to the limited, three-day exhibition at The Hoxton Gallery in London are: Alison Mosshart (LA), Kate Bellm (London), Andre Millar (London), Oliver Blohm (Berlin), Scout Willis (NY), Paulina Surys (London), Chuck Grant (NY) and Elegia (Edinburgh)." - Impossible Film's Webiste

We asked Blohm for his thoughts about the exhibition and about the new Impossible Project Instant Lab Universal.

Oliver, how did you become apart of this exhibition?

The Impossible Project wanted to launch the new generation of the Instant Lab Universal with an event based on an exhibition in London. The vernissage, or preview, was also on the same day as the release date of the Instant Lab. The exhibition demonstrated different ways of using it. Impossible is based in Berlin and we got to know each other from my exhibition in the Impossible Partner Store there, which was the first exhibition of the store's Instantland Gallery, and we celebrated that opening about one and a half years ago. Since then, we've stayed in contact and a few weeks before the new event, they asked me if I would like to be part of the 8x8 exhibition.

How did you come up with the idea to shoot the images you did for the challenge?

I didn't needed to create something new for the exhibition. After presenting some projects, we decided to take the pictures from two already existing series. The first series, named "Persephone," was my first experience with this device. Before getting an Instant Lab, I made the collages by hand and created the final images by taking photos of the collages. The second series, named "Tainted Love," is based on fading memories and disappearing thoughts and happenings. For example I destroyed and manipulated the pictures in different ways to create mistakes and failures to generate this fading and disappearing theme with the help of the material itself.

Your challenge was to create 8 images using the new instant lab, what was the most challenging part?

The most challenging part was to find different ways of manipulation, to generate a variety of more or less controlled fragments for the "Tainted Love" series.

What did you use in combination with he instant lab? How was the experience? (Android, Iphone, Tablet, Etc)

I used my Iphone in combination with the Instant Lab, but a Tablet works great as well.

What did you enjoy most about it?

This extremely wide spectrum of possibilities and ways to transfer digital imagery to analogue material. If you even use the Instant Lab for your smartphone snapshots, it will generate something unique by the influence of the Impossible film.

Any plans on utilizing the instant lab in the future for any projects?

Nothing concrete yet. At the moment I'm working a lot with 8x10 instant photography, using Impossible's film for my own and various other projects.

Who's work are you most excited to see at the exhibition and why?

I really appreciated the work of Andrew Millar. He's an amazing guy and and he works a lot with the Instant Lab ever since it appeared and that makes him, to me, something like a veteran. He generates amazing collages and beautiful scapes. The work of Paulina Surys is very interesting and beautiful too. She was an important part of the 8x8 exhibition for me. It was great also to see what Alison Mosshart has done, as well as Scout Willis or Chuck Grant.

Visit Oliver's blog to see images from the event!