PHOTO 2021 artist Lucas Blalock explores falseness and evident mechanics in photography. To coincide with his Spaced Apart talk, we asked Lucas a few questions about his practice and inspirations.

What started your relationship with photography?

I started taking pictures in college. I was really into movies and photography gave me a way to realize a cinematic idea without a large production.

What is your motivation for making art? How has your practice changed over time?

My motivations are very personal. The work has changed a lot over the years but I am still dealing with the same basic problems.

Image: Ann Shelton, The Mother, Rue (Ruta sp.), 2020 ©Ann Shelton

Lucas Blalock, Tessa sitting, 2016

Lucas Blalock, switchboard, 2015-2016

How do ideas relating to 'The Truth’ factor into your practice?

Werner Herzog once said, “There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”

In this post-internet age, how do you see the viewer in relation to your artwork?

I imagine a viewer that has all the complications of the contemporary moment.

How do you go about developing new projects?

I work my way into them.

Lucas Blalock, Woman I, 2000

How does your lived experience influence your work?

It is really all I have to go on.

Who or what inspires you?

So many things.

What books are you currently reading?

I am in the middle of Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School. Before that I read Jen George’s The Babysitter at Rest for a second time.

The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George

What music are you listening to?

Lil Wayne, 21 Savage, Jens Lekman, Jay Electronica, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Lopez

If the work you are presenting at PHOTO 2020 was a song, what would it be?

“In Spite of Ourselves” by John Prine with Iris Dement

How do you hope our creative community will overcome this unique challenge?

I hope we can see how vulnerable our political systems make people and can reimagine the road ahead.

Do you have any daily rituals or unique customs?

I can’t say I do.

Do you have any unrealised projects you would like to work on?

I would like to make a film one day.

What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?

Buy Apple stock with your lunch money.

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March