Nature always wins in the end: Lina Jaros

by Giovanni Cervi

Lina Jaros was born in Sweden in 1981. She deals with photography and she is the daughter of our time: she photographs the conflicting relationship we have with environment and nature. She builds something in the non-ordinary and captures it, causing the observers’ synapses a dangerous neural short-circuit. She tips over the inside and outside. She would like to live in a forest, as a demigoddess of the ancient times, but since she was born in modern times, she is forced to interpret the ambiguity of what is around. Lina Jaros is a contemporary artist who looks to the past while representing our future.

This is the secret, isn’t it?


Before everything else, how would you define your art research in just one line/sentence?
As an exploration of the psychology connected to ambiguity and how the mind works and how the world appears when we doubt something.

Let’s make a step in your memory, you were approaching your 20s when the millennium switched to 2000, what do you remember of that day? Did you had expectations of a big change for humanity?
I remember it being a quite chaotic night. I were at like three different parties or something during the night, it snowed more than ever, no traffic really worked so it was difficult getting around, there were the greatest party ever down town, I were really drunk and had a fight with my boyfriend. I also remember the eager expectations of the world breaking down at 00:00. I have never been a superstitious person though and I never believed it. I do believe that the world as we know it will break apart one day. It is as they say in “Matrix”; mankind is like a virus. We can’t stop ourselves. Our time on this earth is short in comparison to time perspectives in the universe in general. Eventually earth won’t be able to sustain us anymore and we will perish. Its to early though and it won’t happen for some time yet.

Do you build your sets alone or with a team? Can you tell us the process from the idea to the shooting?
I always have help, but usually I don’t need an entire team. One helper is enough. The ideas usually come to me during periods of brainstorming. I go to the library or sit with Google, collecting inspiration through looking at hundreds and hundreds of images of different sorts of environments. I get loads of ideas in a couple of days, start going through them and making sketches and drawings of some of them. When I decided on which project to proceed with I make a complete set of sketches, a budget and start looking for props. Sometimes I need to apply for funds. Then I do the location-work. When that is done I start making/collecting the props. The installing and the shooting usually take a couple of days, if I have a studio a bit longer.

In your photos you mismatch ordinary objects/conditions, I think you expand our shades of emotions with your visions. Is this what you want to? Increase our inner world?
In a way, yes. When we stand in front of something strange or incomprehensible that doesn’t fit into the general idea of what is normal, our mind start taking odd turns, we start think by ourselves and make our own decisions on what we are perceiving in the images. I guess that expands the mind, not getting any clear answers.

And watching some photos I thought “Oh my gosh, I feel like that!”. Does it happen often to you? What are the reactions of the viewers of your exhibitions?
Some people just need to work it out, asking a lot of questions, wanting answers before they can make up their mind about the work. Others decide its not important, just enjoying the weird picture. Very often the viewers have much more thoughts and theories about the works than I have myself. My mind is often quite clear when I work. A way of getting away from thought, embracing the senses. Also a lot of people want to know how the sets are made.

How was growing up in Sweden? From outside it is considered a cold and snowy country…
I always wanted to get away elsewhere. I grew up in a small town where everybody knew each other, rumors spread really fast and you couldn’t hide. I decided real early to get away from there. I even think Stockholm is to small at times. It’s because I don’t like cities. There are to many people, too much concrete and such a lack of nature. I am addicted to nature. I start getting depressed if there are too few trees around. My dream is to live in the middle of nowhere, near the forest, with deer just around the corner, growing my own vegetables, have a dog, some chickens etc. Nature is luxury nowadays. I always loved the Swedish seasons. It gives you the chance to see nature change, disappear and reappear over and over. I love snow for a limited period of time, but each year winter lasts for around 5 months and you don’t see the sun for even a third of that time. The first month is great, but the following 4 months is a constant suffering and longing for something with color in it.

How do you feel in the forest?
I feel so at harmony there. I love just sitting on a tree stump in the middle of the forest for ages, just watching and listening to what is going on. Watching the birds and the trees and feel the smell. Its great! To bad its often so cold in Sweden so you can’t sit around for very long.

Can you tell us something about the photo art scene in Stockholm?
I have never been that kind of artist that consciously relate to an art scene. My creating process is more about getting away from all that, not having to relate to a world outside my own imagination. My artistry has always been a bit introvert.

Rooms and nature is a pretty constant duo in your art, how do you see the relationship between nature and men?
Mankind is a like a pest exploiting everything in nature there is, plowing through like a monster, not being able to stop and only using nature for our own sake. Its in our nature to destroy our surroundings and sometime I am ashamed to be a human being. We need nature to survive, but nature really don’t need us. We will consume it and after we have perished it will grow back. Nature always win in the end. But I wish it could be more balanced, and that man made other choices and priorities.

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