The Bottom of the shadow - Dolores Medel - ultrashop

More about Dolores Medel

How did you choose your means of expression?

Well, I think it was very natural, I just discovered one day that I wanted to make photographs, I was very young, around 8 or 9. Photographs were there in my daily life.

Is this medium secondary to or closely linked to your subject?

I believe in photography as a part of my life, so it is always linked to my interests.

What material do you use and why?

Just digital equipment for now.

How does a work session take shape?

Actually I do not have a “formula” for a work session, but I think everything always starts through research. The work sessions depend on the topic I am developing, each project is different and takes shape in a different way.

Can you explain to me how your work has evolved since starting out?

I think I mature with each project. My ways of conceptualizing images has changed since I went to the contemporary photography seminar at the Centro de la Imagen in México. There I realized how to transform my personal imagery into photographs. Much of the work is introspection, but above all it involves reading and research.


Do your origins and culture play a role in the works that you produce?

For sure. 100%. I result from my family history, my childhood stories, the people around me and the town where I was raised, the places I visited, books, music, movies and the city where I’m living.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Life, family, history, literature, music.

Are there any anecdotes that enable the genesis of your work to be understood?

With this project “The bottom of the shadow” I was experiencing hard times in terms of my parents’ health, so, I wanted to make a kind of tribute to my Mum and her parents, most of all, to the lack of relationship with her dad, because he died when she was 6 in a tragic way. His death is a kind of taboo in my family because is related with fratricide, so… Everything concerning my grandparents is surrounded in confusion and mystery. It appeals to me to tell their story, but not in a linear narrative.

Are current events taken into account in your production or do you distance yourself from them?

Difficult…maybe the second. I know I am influenced by everything that happens in my country and in the world, but I prefer to play with fiction, I really don’t want to be – for example – a photojournalist or typical documentary photographer, because I have a lot of prejudices about the way that the press and the media usually treat people to earn money or prestige. But, at same time, I really appreciate good journalism, I know is essential to make changes in our society and this is how I reflect on current events. Finally everything is born from reality, but fiction gives me freedom.


Are your works more of a dialogue,
a trace or a denunciation?

A trace…

Do you wish to make viewers wonder or do you prefer to question them?

Both actions are interesting. I want to give them the freedom to make their own interpretation, their own story.

How do you view human beings, and consequently your work?

Dark times. I am extremely interested in human emotions and how they influence the actions of human beings. My work is mainly based on that.

How would you compare your last work with the next?

They’re connected. All my projects are really one only.

Is art poetry or social intervention?

Exactly I don’t know, but I want to believe it’s closer to poetry.


How do you view your own work?

Like chapters of –for now- an endless story…

What are your current and future projects?

I’m working on a project about the fear of the sea, and I also have something involving curly hair and Afro-descendants. I need to finish those to start another project, but I already have an vague idea about next year’s project.

Translated by
Louise Jablonowska