Monica Alcazar-Duarte – MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Monica Alcazar-Duarte studied MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (Online) at London College of Communication, graduating in 2013.

What made you choose the course?

The amazing opportunity to study with the head tutors of the course. The guest lecturers are lead practitioners in the field. The remarkable track record maintained by the course’s graduates.

Where are you from in the world?

I am originally from Mexico. The UK is my adopted country.

Please tell us about the approaches, techniques and tools, you use in your work.

Centred on a photographic practice I use sound, film, text and installation to inform and shape the work. The ethos behind the work stems from my interest in exploring notions of meaning and interpretation in flux. I am interested in producing visual spaces in which conclusions become transitory and interconnections are reassessed.

Have you been part of any exhibitions recently?

I recently worked taking photographs of all six colleges in University of the Arts London. My photos were used in an article in The Guardian in partnership with the University. Last summer I showed a small series of photographs in central London. 

Tell us about your future plans and ambitions

At the moment I am preparing for my graduate show in May 2014. I am in talks with a small gallery in East London to have a solo show at the end of this year. I am also looking into opportunities to exhibit the photo-book I produced for my graduation piece.

The work that I produce comes in quite an unusual format, so I am on this very exciting process of finding people who are willing to do things differently; forums for work that doesn’t fall into a determined category. I am gaining insight into new spaces and people who are looking to push some boundaries. This coming year will be a very exciting year indeed.

What do you enjoy most about LCC?

Being able to use the different workshops and facilities. I learnt about book making, about 3d modelling and laser cutting. I also got in touch with the Interactive Media studies department and was able to start on a collaborative relationship with two of their students. We are still in touch and we are working together to design an installation.

What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently?

The work was called Stifter Dinge, by Heiner Goebbels. Produced by Artangel, shown at Ambika P3. It is definitely one of the best exhibitions I’ve seen. This was a mechanical performance-installation that used four pianos, text, sound, video and live creation of the weather. I could never do justice to it by describing it.

What piece of advice would you give to new students?

Do things in ways that take you out of your comfort zone. Experiment, push, question and probe as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to experiment and fail, and experiment again and fail again. Eventually you’ll get the result you are looking for, but first you need to realise that making mistakes is part of doing something that is new or different.

Where do you go when you need a little inspiration?

I would usually walk along the river. It helps a lot when I am researching, or in the middle of accessing new ideas. This was originally suggested by a tutor of mine and I have followed the advice ever since. But inspiration can arrive from everywhere and everything. That is why it is so important to be open, and to always carry with you a sketchbook. It might seem that things are unrelated but usually they influence a new idea or find their way back into new body of work.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

Previous to my studies at London College of Communication I produced some installation work. The projects brought attention to social issues occurring in Latin America. I was interviewed by the BBC World service about this work.


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