Lara Zankoul Is Transcending Reality

“I like the absurd, because it makes the most sense.”

Lara Zankoul Is Transcending Reality
This Is Yung

Deciphering a world beyond that which is presented inspires interdisciplinary artist Lara Zankoul to create her dreamlike photography. 

Lara Zankoul

Your work is quite surrealist, talk us through it.

I believe there is a lot more to reality than we are able to see and I like to document that. I’m interested in capturing feelings, states of mind and dreams. I’m not interested in capturing scenes as they are: I like to break, deconstruct and reconstruct, to change the order of things. I like the absurd, because it makes the most sense. 

What parts of your personality shine through your work?

It is hard to answer this question myself. I would say playfulness, but also the contradiction of poised and calm on the outside, but crazy on the inside.

Lara Zankoul

You are self-taught, how did you achieve this? 

Through obsession. I would spend all my spare time reading and researching about photography. I still do that when I feel inspired, this passion keeps fueling itself.

What personal message does your work carry? 

My work is influenced by my personal experiences; it carries messages of struggles to find freedom as a woman, of femininity, love and abuse, as well as messages of self-growth and transcendance. 

Lara Zankoul

Which of your photo series did you most enjoy working on, and why? 

The Aquarium series, because the process was challenging, yet so fun. I built a human-sized aquarium, designed it as a room, filled it halfway with water, put my friends in it and photographed them through the glass.

When shooting on set, what music is in the background?

It depends on the mood and energy I’m looking for – sometimes it’s lounge music, sometimes it’s 90s pop songs. 

How did you discover surrealism through your photography? 

By playing around with reality: defying gravity, breaking the order of things, playing with perspectives, shapes and forms. There are endless ways to do it. The use of visual metaphors and symbols is also a way to explore this realm.

What made you delve into the world of NFTs?

A friend of mine asked me to host YouTube interviews with NFT artists, and I asked him to help me get into the NFT world in return. He helped me set up a wallet, and introduced me to Web3 platforms.

Do you have a favourite book that inspires you?

Tim Walker’s Story Teller. It’s a masterpiece I keep at my studio for endless inspiration.

What do the words “hope” and “love” mean to you?

To live with honesty towards yourself and others, to remain true to yourself and to keep exploring your own journey of growth, which will reflect positively on the world around you.

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