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Mads Madison's film destruction results in fantastical images

Updated: Aug 16, 2018

Mads Madison (°1985, Germany) is a self-taught visual artist who uses analogue photos and techniques to create unique pieces. His work is influenced by his deep affection for skateboarding, loud music and experimental art. There is no right and wrong to Madison, there’s only happy little accidents. Traditional rules are meant to be broken in order to form something new and exciting.


For Wasted Films he upcycles pieces that were declared ‘trash’.  The results are sometimes deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. His works are on the one hand touchingly beautiful, on the other hand painfully surreal. He aims to leaves the viewer orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. By parodying certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he makes works that can be seen as a manifesto or simple self-portraits. Madison manipulates the viewer to create confusion and creates intense personal moments, luring the viewer round and round in circles.


To Madison, there are two important principles to follow while creating art: Harm this beautiful world as little as possible and give something back to society . He use as many recycled/renewable resources and climate neutral processes as possible. By supporting national and international charity organisations Madison seeks to help others in need with projects ranging from a local skate park to fresh water in Africa.


Mads is on instagram as @wasted_films







ALTER/ANALOG: Why did you choose film as your medium?


MM: My film love started way before doing wasted films. There was a time where I shot 'regular' photos. The whole process of developing and printing, the idea of creating something with my own hands, that's what really got me. Plus using film generates something that is somewhat everlasting compared to thousands of digital files stored on a hard drive that will fail sooner or later. The medium allows me to get physical with it. Touching the paper, painting with chemicals, seeing photos change shape while heating them. That is what keeps the love alive now.


ALTER/ANALOG: You have this mad scientist what would happen experimentation you do with film.  What are some of the processes you employ?


MM: Hahaha, I really love that quote. It's all about distressing but I like to call it upcycling. I don't really know if those processes have names so I usually come up with crazy descriptions like colorgrams. For wasted films I work with everyday things I find at the local drug store or at my place. I used bleach, airbrush color, bath bombs, hot water, cold water. I deep fried, boiled, microwaved and froze shots.


ALTER/ANALOG: You had a show!  Congrats!  What was that experience like?


MM: The venue was about 1200 miles away though so I couldn't be there in person. It's nevertheless an amazing feeling because I still can't imagine that people really like what I'm doing. This very show was curated which was a good start for me but I really want to do a show with my own favourite shots and series next.


ALTER/ANALOG: What are you working on next?


MM: I am currently working on a series that's based on privacy and traces which will use polaroids and an exacto knive. I don't really know what's next because I work with what's available. I'm still waiting for a huge box of negatives someone found on their attic so this might be next. I somehow feel like doing some color- and chemigrams too, this process always amazes me. I guess it depends on my mood as well.

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