Rosanna (Rosie) is a wild spirit. Armed with her camera, she captures the untamable essence of life, whether it be her personal one or the savage beauty of nature. Her pictures are silvery and mellifluous, and you can discern her eye and taste for sceneries and moments that lack that flagrant cheesiness that too many end up with. Rosie’s photography is original, in that it is authentic and real. She could choose any other blatant, obvious subject, but on the contrary she chooses her life and sense of adventure with all its wonderfully complex yet unpretentious moments. It is so that a creative reunion of artists in a Pennsylvania retreat, a California highway or a Berlin Open Air party, reach beyond a simple click: Rosie is able to move us into the picture and one can immediately feel the dusty gust of wind in Aluminé (Argentina), or the raving music of Berlin. Her free mind and curiosity exude like a storm from her lens, whether it be in the emotional depth of a face, the ephemerality of a moment, or the fierce wilderness of a rainbow stretching across a delicate fog.
Graziella Buontempo: Who is Rosanna Bach?
Rosanna Bach: A work in progress.
GB: Do you remember when you received your first camera?
RB: To be honest I don’t. But there’s a good chance that it was one of those Polaroid cameras from the 90’s because I recently rediscovered it in the back of a cupboard!
GB: Do you have a defining experience that made you want to launch yourself into photography?
RB: I wouldn’t say there was one particular moment where I though to myself “alright, now I’m going to launch myself into it.” It was more of a gradual process. In my first year in New York I’d take a bunch of photos with disposable cameras for memories sake, and my friends were like: “Hey your photos are pretty good!” So the encouragement from them I suppose is what landed me into all of this.
GB: Who are some of the people who have inspired you the most throughout these years?
RB: This might sound strange, but I guess the people who are inspired by me usually inspire me the most, because that’s where the best exchanges occur.
GB: Most of your pictures are black and white? Why do you prefer to choose B/W to color? Does this choice represent particular emotions?
RB: Color can be distracting at times, if it is not used well it will hurt the photo more than help it (like in a painting too). So I suppose I find it easier to get to the core with black and white.
GB: You have a very international background. You are half Swiss/half British, you lived in New York City and now you are living in Buenos Aires. How does such diversity influence you?
RB: I don’t feel like I am from any one place. Obviously there are certain places I relate to more than others, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I don’t feel very Swiss at all. I think it’s mostly just taught me not to judge, see that everyone has their own “truth”. I mean I always knew there was no black or white, but it’s made me appreciate the grey a whole lot more.
GB: You graduated from Parson’s School of Design in NYC. How has living in such a dynamic city inspired you? What are some of the places, people, sounds, colors of New York that have attracted you the most? Are there any particular sub-cultures that have moved you in a particular way?
RB: The randomness of the city is what is most beautiful about it.
GB: How is living in the warmth and liveliness of Buenos Aires different from your past experience in New York? Does this city inspire your work in a different way?
RB: It’s similar to NYC in the sense that it’s hard to break into, but then once you’ve got that, the big love affair begins. And I was actually scared shitless at the beginning with the language barrier, I didn’t know how strangers would react. Secondly the city is in a bit of a state right now. And a blonde tourist girl with a camera is probably the prime target (to rob that is, electronics are very expensive here).
But something good came out of it, I started a project about fear. It was a way to help me get over mine. So I approach strangers and take their portraits and have a conversation about theirs. It’s an interesting topic, every single one of us has them no matter what shape or form, family, country we’re from.
GB: You documented through your photography the “House of Creatives” project in Pennsylvania. What is it exactly? How was working with so many diverse and interesting talents?
RB: Marial or (Seasick Mama) was basically sent there by her label to work on her first album and took advantage of the space to invite both friends and randomers (such as myself) down there to collaborate together creatively. Which meant either making music, spots for brands, or photo shoots. It was a blast.
GB: As a great music lover, from rock to techno, how does music influence your work?
RB: It is the most powerful art form for me. Maybe it’s the least superficial because you can’t see it or touch it. If photography had the same power as music…then imagine. If I could achieve a sentiment as strong as music does, and not to mention unify people the way music does through my photographs, then I’d feel satisfied with my work.
GB: What do you try to make your photos reveal? Do you try to express something in particular through the lens?
RB: Photography is my way of better connecting (and therefore better understanding) the environment around me. So I do this through telling people’s stories.
GB: Do you capture a moment naturally or do you approach your subjects in a specific, more technical way?
RB: Naturally (mainly). Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take photos with our eyes?
GB: Looking back at your pictures, is there one with which you have a special connection? What is the best memory from one of your pictures?
RB: I had this teacher who would always half-jokingly talk about the “photography gods”. It’s when out of chance everything falls into place in your favour. One night I was taking a photo of the urban light installation in LA, my tripod was set up and everything. Out of the blue three orthodox Jews in suits just pulled up, casually propped themselves up against the lamp posts and asked if I could take a photo of them. (And remember this is LA, where pedestrians don’t really exist so it was kind of a surreal experience.)
GB: What is your daily motto?
RB: Umm I m not going to answer that because whatever I say will sound really cheesy!
(All photographs reproduced here above are copyright of Rosanna Bach. Visit more of her pictures at: http://rosannabach.tumblr.com/)