Interview: Ljubov Dzuzhynska
Photography: Rahi Rezvani
Rahi Rezvani is a photographer, director, and visual artist.
You’ve mentioned that you see reality in a different way than others do. What is it like to be you? How would you describe your reality?
In day to day life I don’t run away from the actual world and reality as we all have to deal with, even though I’m not crazy about it – but I have a “switch” in my brain that I can flick to see the world as I want to. It has cost me a lot to develop this switch.
You’ve academically trained yourself, but you reject the clichéd emphasis on concept and narrative. What clichés annoy you the most and how should people break free from them?
Social media to me is the most hateful cliché that’s trained people to believe that superficiality is rewarding.
Another cliché which I really hate within my own industry is being pigeonholed as a specific type of photographer (e.g. Fashion Photographer, Landscape Photographer, etc)..,
to me if you’re a true photographer you won’t be able to close your eyes and not see frames that are worth capturing all over as you go through life, so this idea that you have to stick to one subject matter or style doesn’t make sense. You break free by thinking for yourself.
You’ve said that the most exciting part is the unexpected moments that happen during a shoot that lead to discovering entire new realities you’ve never imagined before. Is there a film, book, or cartoon reality would you like to try and exist in?
Currently I would say the film The Lighthouse by Robert Eggers – I would love to experience being Willem Dafoe in that world for a couple of months.
What have you learned through all your projects on a personal and professional level?
You can only trust yourself.
What topics fascinate you outside of photography and art?
Fast cars and black jackets.
You’ve mentioned that if you can create just one image that will stand the test of time and say something about humanity through your experience, then you would reach your most important goal in life. Do you have an idea of what that image would be based on where you are right now?
Time has to decide that, not me.
If you could have a chance to work with any historical or famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Hieronymus Bosch, I find him and his work to be infinitely inspiring.
If you could travel in time where would you go and why?
Right after the Second World War because everything was still unique and humans were full of hope and ambition to rebuild a new world.
What was the last exciting thing you’ve done or felt?
Concepting and filming the Upside Down music video for Editors, which just came out – genuinely excited about this one.
Directed by Rahi Rezvani
Do you have any favorite music videos?
The Wall by Pink Floyd.
What is beauty to you and how do you integrate it into your work? And what was the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen or experienced in your life?
Emotions and spirit are the most beautiful things in life for me, even in still life. I never do anything that doesn’t have emotion in it.
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced was the birth of my daughter.
What’s it like to be an inspiration to others? What’s an inspiration for you?
I hope that I am not! Because the world is already dark enough,
I think people should try to be to be inspired by themselves as much as possible.
That being said, inspiration for me usually comes from weather, music, and the human body.
What film and book would you recommend? Why?
Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski – it’s a masterpiece.
Who is or was your biggest teacher in life? What have you learned?
Difficult times have been my biggest teacher in life. I learned that difficulty is necessary for growth.
What do you think really matters at the end of life?
What’s the wisest thing you’ve ever heard?
There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
What was the most memorable question you’ve ever heard?
“Are you Persian?”
What question would you want to be asked in an interview and what would your answer be?
“What is the meaning of this life that we lead?” And I don’t know the answer.
The Editors music videos - conceived, directed and edited by Rahi Rezvani