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Michał Sałatkiewicz' parallel universes

"My name is Michał Sałatkiewicz, I come from a small town located near Wrocław in south-western Poland, just turned 31 years old. I am a self-taught photographer and have been using only 35mm film up to date. I don’t really have any artistic education and I haven’t worked in any creative field. My background lies in Japanese philology and anthropology, which I feel also helped my artistic development in a way. Also I’ve been researching shamanism for the past 5 years."

See more of of Michał's work on instagram at @salatansky

A/A: Your images are very ethereal. Is this intentional?

MS: I guess it is, yes. I like to indulge myself in thinking that there is a certain delicate and soft quality to my work, but also melancholic and otherworldly

at the same time, even if just a tiny bit. I imagine I create somewhat a distinct, parallel universe, distant and mysterious, yet pretty cheerful, even joyous

and familiar at times. At least this is what I really like to think.

A/A: Do you find your work has a theme?

MS: This is a pretty tough question for me. I’m mostly inspired by foreign cultures, peoples, religions and beliefs, I’m hugely interested in shamanism, notions of ghosts and other things mysterious and unimaginable, legends and folklore, especially Slavic. I also consider myself to be deeply in love with Nature. But I don’t really think that there is any specific theme or one main idea behind my photographs, no. They seem to me to be rather a combination of all the above.

A/A: How long have you been a film photographer?

MS: I shot my first film roll around the year 2011 or 2012. I got my first camera from my mom, it was Minolta Dynax 600 Si, and through trial and error I somehow managed to self-teach myself something. But I wasn’t consistent with my work at first, taking breaks from and going back to shooting a lot. I still have a great deal of things to learn, but it really brings me plenty of pleasure to discover things on my own.

A/A: What attracted you to alternative processes?

MS: First roll I ever took seemed a bit too flat, even bleak to me, so I started to look for ways to tweak it a little. I decided to spice it up with some watercolor paint, so I filled the canister with already developed film, left it right there for way too long and got it scanned again. As one might rightly expect, it was an utter failure, but it taught me that there is at least a million different ways to alter your film, post and pre-developed. I began testing film soups, heating my rolls, etc., but I don’t want these effects to be the main appeal of a picture, so I try to keep it subtle. I’ve also been experimenting with scanography these days, I really like how it adds a certain chunky feel, a bit of tangibility and gives a lot of freedom to alter a picture I didn’t like in the first place.

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