I’m a great fan of Harun Mehmedinovic’s photography and hope that Anne of Carversville and Sensuality News friends will consider backing Harun’s Kickstarter project Bloodhoney* Seance - A Book of Photos and Stories.
I first saw Harun’s ‘Visions of a Dying Soldier’ (below) on Vogue Italia’s Photo Vogue and reached out to him. Arriving on his website ‘Bloodhoney’ I felt an immediate affinity for him, based not only on the quality of his work but the relevance of Angelina Jolie as a role model for us Smart Sensuality women and her film ‘Bloodhoney’.
The concept of Harun Mehmedinovic’s project is one I embrace totally. As adults we put limitations in our way, only to find in a spontaneous moment that we have wasted so much of our vitality saying “I can’t” or “I don’t have time.”
I learned this lesson profoundly when I first went parasailing. Swinging from my perch alone in the sky, I had a good talk with myself in the company of the One about the limitations I put on myself — even though I was then considered to be a great adventuress. My perspective tethered to a rope with my adopted family far below in the boat was very different from the comfort and security of flying around the world for business in a private jet. Having only gone up into the sky on a double dare and the taunting of children saying “I told you she wouldn’t go”, I found myself yelling into the wind “Pay more money. I don’t want to come down.”
This is the experience Harun captures in his experiential photographs. This book promises to be pure joy and a gorgeous Limited Edition gift for the holidays — even though it won’t arrive until April 2013. Harun explains the development of his project in his own words below. ~ Anne
Please support Harun Mehmedinovic on Kickstarter.
PS: I see that we are getting very good page views on this article and 4 new contributors in the hour since we released this article. Thank you. Thank you, dear AOC readers. I knew you wouldn’t let me down. If you don’t know Kickstarter, it’s an all or nothing deal. If Harun raises $14,750 in pledges, he loses everything. Whatever the amount of available funds you might have to support this super-talented photographer/artist, please contribute to his campaign. I don’t put my name and reputation out there lightly. This is the first campaign I’ve gotten behind to the end, and I will be very selective about them in the future. But I do thank you for this immediate response that I see in both page views and contributions to Harun’s Kickstarter page. xoxo ~ Anne
ORIGINS OF THE BLOODHONEY* PROJECT
I began taking photographs as a hobby ten years ago, during my studies at UCLA. Twice a year I would drive from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and back, along Route 40, photographing landscapes. It was a way to disconnect from the daily grind, have a rare moment of solitude, and re-charge for the following six months. This process would later influence my approach to the Bloodhoney* project.
During my travels around the film festival circuit, I met old friends – some of whom I hadn’t seen in many years. Many were rooted in a 9-5 existence, living highly structured, stressful lives. They rarely, if ever, engaged in creative or artistic endeavors. Instead of going to a coffee shop, I proposed that they take a day off, pick a place that has meaning to them, and choose clothes in which they feel like themselves. That was the starting point. From there the idea was to improvise; spontaneity was to be at the heart of the process
Initially, most of the subjects were bored or frustrated. They asked me to give them instructions and wondered what they were doing there. Slowly, their minds began to let go, and they started doing what they felt like: jumping, climbing, wielding props, and taking risks. It felt almost like a return to childhood, physicality took over and the camera was there to capture the energy of the moment, telling a story.
These “séances” sometimes went on for 10-15 hours. They included long hikes through mountains, head-on collisions with hail and snow, walks through swamps and lakes, and quite a few mosquito bites and bruises.
The experience of the day was most important, not the resulting images. You could never predict what would come of it, and the idea was to let go and let things come together by circumstance. This is very opposite of the ideas of safety and caution that we are bombarded with by the current society. Although the idea of being in front of the camera while letting go may seem uncomfortable, after these “séances,” just about every subject wanted to keep going or do it again. Each shoot was its own unique adventure. The rush of adrenaline and the feeling of being a child again, uninhibited no matter how silly or dangerous, proved to be liberating.
I called the project “Bloodhoney” in reference to the Balkans, the region I am from. It is a combination of two Turkish words: Bal, meaning “honey” and Kan, meaning “blood.” The name refers to the bittersweet nature of life, the moments of beauty and the sublime spontaneously captured in the photographs.
Please support Anne’s artistic vision and mine, too: Harun Mehmedinovic on Kickstarter.