The initiation (2013)
Interview by Snap Magazine - July 10th 2013 / By Shayl Prisk
New from award-winning Montreal photographer, story-teller and art director Jean Malek comes this teaser release, the first instalment in a new and broad-reaching photographic series he has titled “Untold Stories.”
The series explores the complex themes of family, diverse group dynamics and the untold secrets that lie within closed circles. While drawn together by the intensity and ambiguity of each image, the series is constructed to explore many unique stories and in this way is not intended to be connected stylistically.
We spoke to Jean Malek this week about this project and his new direction:
SNAP: What was your mindset when you first formulated the concept for this new series? Do you remember what things were inspiring you at the time?
Jean Malek: I've been always intrigued by the truth behind closed doors. I guess it was something I wanted to do a long time ago, and my recent inspirations, believes, interests had let me to explore that theme. My inspirations are mostly from movies or movie frames. The idea started with a simple frame of an old Czechoslovak comedy film that I've seen in a book at the Library.
S: What is interesting to you about doing a series of very different photos based on one overarching theme?
JM: I guess it's the idea to create different characters with different subjects and emotions and for each viewer to make his own story from that. As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Each photo is a story, so I can pretty much do what I want, depending on my mood. I don't want be limited by the style of my shots but I want them to have something in common. That's what makes it a series.
S: What is the biggest challenge as a photographer when working on completely new material?
JM: The biggest challenge would definitely have to be: being better than the previous series. And even within that series, I want each photo to be as strong as the rest.