Martina Matencio – On intimacy of images and personal life
Hi My name is Martina Matencio, I am a Photographer I have a second-hand shop called „ Luna de Marte“ ( Moon of Mars) and I live in Barcelona. And this is my studio.
Tell us about a transformative moment in your life
The most transformative moment in my life was when I decided to leave my ex-partner. I guess that is because I gave myself the permission to grow alone. Sometimes I felt very small next to him. Especially professionally talking because he is also a photographer. And I love him and admire him a lot but when I saw myself grow I realize that I can also do what he does or something different. And that’s when I realized I could grow by on my own.
A difficult moment and how you got out of it
To be honest I feel like I had a lot of difficult moments in my life, really. I don’t know if it is because I like drama or because I feel like I am an intrinsic sad person.
I guess my teenage years were difficult but most people have been through that, and every day I notice more how little self-esteem people have. Also for me, it was very hard to love myself And I’m not talking only physically but about everything. It was such a difficult task that I decided to go to a psycoanalysist to be able to talk…and I still go mostly because I enjoy it and it helps me.And it was really hard to love me. As we talked before the influence of the parents are very important. I do believe my parents loved and love me but it seems as if it was hard for them to value me. My mom used to say „ I’m not sure you will be able to do this or that alone…“ and I guess that this kind of influences end up filling you up with shit… if I’m allowed to use this word.
I guess I left thinking, this is it, this is the life I have, I am like this, I’ll try to get the best out of me.For myself and for the others. I will help myself and help others. And I guess what helped me has been the experience and being able to realize that I only have this life and fight for what you want. And I’m not only talking about work and that everything should be wonderful and that people know you but the most important thing is to be at peace with yourself. And be happy. In the realms of what is possible.
What does it mean to be a woman?
Everything.It’s a very relative question. Right now I am very involved in this subject matter. But I guess that is because I always take photographs of women. And I think that being a woman is wonderful, but it’s very hard. I like being a woman.You haven’t asked me this but I’m gonna tell you anyways. But I also think that we sometimes suffer too much. And I don’t know if that is because we are women or because we women are different to men. Many times we believe that women can’t do certain things. Recently I was walking down the street with my nephew who is 8 years old and at a construction site they were working on a frontage and there was a woman working and my nephew asked me „ Marina, is this a woman ?“ and I was like, this is so amazing, so amazing that he is asking me about it and I was like „ Yes, it’s a woman, woman can do anything“ but truth be told he hadn’t seen anything alike yet. And even I sometimes call my dad to help me out with things around the house because I have conditioned myself to believe that I can’t do it.
Sometimes people ask me if the work I do is more difficult because I am a woman, and I really have to say in this aspect, it doesn’t make it more difficult. I have never had any problem. There are million of male photographers as female photographers and every one of them has their aesthetics.
Sometimes people ask me: What are you looking for? But I’m not looking frothing in particular. I simply get carried away in the moment. I enjoy portraying body parts. And I do always take pictures of women because I like it. It gives me a feeling of creating maps of different bodies and somehow finding myself in them a bit. And I do like a male body but I haven’t had the chance and haven’t had much of a desire to …( chuckles) maybe someday I’ll do it.
Also with women I have a connection that I don’t with a man. When I tell a man to let himself go they find it very hard to do so …They are concerned about if „ this pose looks gay“…and it should go beyond that and this behavior holds me back.
Now I am absolutely immersed in the woman subject and I like it. I think I am able to create a strength/force that I haven’t been able to create with a man.Maybe I will or won’t create it with a man.
Why is it so important to LÖVYOURSELF ?
I think it is important to love oneself because we are the only thing that we have. That famous saying that goes „ We are born alone and we die alone „ I’m pretty much on board with that.
And many times, not as much that I’m 27 but with 14 or 13 years old I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, „ Fuck, who am I ? What am I doing here.“ It’s not that I hated myself but I didn’t understand life, didn’t understand the world…But I’m also a bit …( wild hand gesture ).
I didn’t used to believe in this sentence that goes „ if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else“ and I thought that that’s not true. But it is true, I have come to discover.
This happens to me sometimes, when I’m in a particular positive mood I go out onto the street and I am like „ This is great, how great it is to live, it is to be“…sometimes I also think that we don’t value life enough. This is becoming very philosophical but it’s true. My dad is ill with cancer at the moment and sometimes I think…I never experienced such a near illness, my grandparents have passed but this is much closer, and it upsets me that it has to be such an extreme situation that makes me realize how important life is when really it shouldn’t take an illness to make me see that.
Or maybe for a different person life isn’t that important, I’m not saying this ha stop be the case for everyone. But since they have given us the opportunity to be on this earth. I think we should make the best out of it. And be happy.
What would you tell your fourteen-year-old self?
Like that sentence in The Lovers of the Arctic Circle „ Jump, brave one! „ That’s what I would tell my fourteen-year-old self. To jump, to get out. There was actually a teacher who wrote me a note once that said that right now I was a bit shy and an introvert, you wills that from here on, giving it a little time you will be able to get out o your shell.And prove to the other that you can too. If it is myself who is telling me this I wouldn’t listen to it ( laughs). It would have to say somebody like my psychoanalysist maybe.
This is so complicated, I like listening to a lot and I really like to help people. Sometimes I think I may overcompensate helping others which could be a mistake. But it’s what I like most about myself. Comprehension. I feel like I am able to understand everything. And I am not sure everybody can. And that I like.