How is living in Uruguay?
MC: It`s hard to describe. Kinda quiet, kinda boring, kinda exciting sometimes. It depends. Winter is quite depressing - so it`s a very good time to stay in your home doing productive things and going to some gigs/parties on the weekend. Summer is colourful and you can have a hedonistic-beach-oriented life, there's too much heat to produce anything. Uruguay is a small, almost artificial country, between two HUGE countries (Argentina and Brazil), so we have something like a permanent inferiority complex. Only three million people, most of them very old people, because we have a very small birthrate.
All changes are slooooooow and the predominant mentality is very conservative. But it`s weird, because at the same time, extreme points of view are not well received; you have to always be in the middle and negotiate everything with everybody. That`s why it`s not extreme conservative. For some strange reason, we have the idea that to change something we have to all be involved and all agreed with the change, so changes are slow. There`s a fantasy that in Uruguay, everybody is middle class, (because, maybe that was true until the 50s) and that`s why have to be in the middle, you understand?. Not only in the economical point of view, but also in the mentality point - having a big ego, or even a different opinion, is not well viewed. And if you are an artist that can be a problem.
But, despite all that, I like it here. Uruguay is a new country, with almost no past, no traditions, most of people are of European descent - the very small native population here was very "primitive" (we havent got pyramids, folks) and was almost totally erased in the 19th century- so, it`s all about the future here. I see it like a perfect place to start a new civilization, haha. Tabula Rasa. We are like a poor European country in South America, in some ways, and it`s very similar to some places in eastern Europa, but with more freedom (for example: pot is practically legal here and you can drink alcohol in the streets).
How did you get started in photography?
MC: At first, I studied Comunications and there I took two years of photography, where i learned all the basic things. For many years, I wasn't interested in taking pictures again, but my girlfriend takes a lot of pictures, and now and then I`ve taken her camera to take some. She made me be interested in photography again. One day I saw photos of two friends (Julia Saldain and Julia Corsaro) and I remember clearly the moment that I decided to take pictures again. And that`s the story.
MC: I think it`s movies. One of the things that pushed me to take pictures again was to learn more about the subject, and then apply it all to movie making. That was my main interest when i finish my career...but I've started to make music, and put all the movie projects to an indefinitive hold.
I like a lot of photographers, but I only started to became interested in them after I started to take pictures. I dont think they have influenced me as much as cinema.
What do you shoot with?
What do you shoot with?
MC: Most of the time with an Asashi Pentax that belonged to my father. I also used some cheap pocket cameras before they broke.
What music projects are you working on?
MC: Now it`s a very strange moment, because I came back a couple of weeks ago from a travel through Europe and I haven`t touch an instrument in a couple of months. My main and most "important" band (Fiesta Animal) hasn`t played since this past November - but, despite that, we are going to join together in a few weeks to record some new stuff for a split with AWOTT (a brilliant Russian band). It`s very likely that we are going to disband after that. A record of my solo project (La Mugre Roja) it`s going to be released the next week, but it`s stuff that I finished recording like 6 months ago.
Basically, I'm doing nothing right now, but i have some ideas and couple of projects with other people to start in the coming months. I have to organize myself and my head first, because I have the tendency to start more projects than I can really do. And, I want to avoid that. For sure, i will re-start the music project with my girlfriend, called La Guerra Electrica, but in a different perspective - I want to start something completely new, I don't want to repeat myself.
What are you listening to these days?
MC: A lot of Talk Talk, Japan, Roxy Music. Dennis Wilson`s Pacific Ocean Blue. A lot of The Birthday Party and Einsturzende Neubauten. Rediscoverting Pil`s Flowers of Romance. A lot of John Lennon solo work.
What are you reading?
MC: Truman Capote`s Portraits and Observation and I`m re-reading the chapter in Debord`s Society of Espectacle where he talks about the failure of real socialism, that it`s a subject that i`m really interested right now. And also the Diary of Goebbels. But, my favorite book of the summer was Renegade by Mark E Smith, its almost as good as listening to a The Fall record! I have read it twice so far!.
What is the most vivid dream that you've had?
MC: My dreams are always too vivid. I don't like to sleep but I like to dream. I always pay attention to my dreams because I think there`s always important messages in them. Last night I dreamt that everybody had the ability to time travel - not with a machine, just with power of thinking - without actually leaving present time. It was like people could hallucinate being in the past, everybody at a different time period, and the city went into chaos. People fighting with dinosaurs that way, people running away from romans in that corner, being interrogated by Nazis over there. A madhouse! Very vivid.
For more on Martin Canova, visit his Flickr.