A returning anekdote in the story of our collaboration as Witkowska Verbunt, must be this opening line: That as I came across a portrait of a graduate at The Academy of Photography in Amsterdam, it was as if I was looking at the work of a female version of myself. So I learnt about the existence of Anna Witkowska. I recalled this to her later at an exhibition were we first met.
Despite interest to see if we could work together, a friendship on Facebook and some voice messages , it would take more than two years for us to sit down and talk. My idea to make two self portraitists have their takes on each other photographically, to exercise handing over directorship over the self image and see how it would look, was a start. Anna proposed to stretch the exploration and embed our photoshoots in a road trip. Making that trip the metaphor for our journey through life.
At the points we reached in our individual lives, it seemed totally suitable to photograph a blueprint of our state of being today, as individuals. As loving creatures, moved by the male-female drives and characteristics. The road trip would assure a quest into relational life. Into ourselves.
And how is it to work together with Anna?
Working with Anna is moving with enormous speed. Due to her energy. An artistic conversation in which I can quench my thirst with her base of talent and resolute action. While I like to make photographs in short sessions through the day or the night, targeted but casually, I tend to think when I nailed my shots, there is time to relax. Then Anna is there to remind me, the most important photo is yet to be shot. No time to linger as she gets ready to work any time. To press on, whether early morning or nighttime. In the river, the snow, in the nude. Photographs made through firm ideas, willpower and attitude turn decisive ones in The Dream Vehicle.
So we are stirred to higher heights. Eager for images. Cheering together. To organize and act. Whether changing the camera’s battery or changing a flat car tyre. It is all true to that mystic photo voyage we started.
Anna, when you read this. Know this. And also: I already know you know this. Stay on board with me, as our travels have only started.
Photo: ‘Persist’ – Anna Witkowska