[Interview] Olivier Vancap aka Crocosmic

Why did you chose the name CROCOSMIC? Does it have a special meaning for you?

One evening, I was chatting with my fiancée in our small living room that looked more like a chaotic bric-a-brac shop. We soon started to talk about the name of my blog, which I found too impersonal. At the time, I called it “Cosmique”, because I have always been into space and science fiction but also because the character that I wanted to develop was really confused and came “from a different world”. At one point, she said something like “c’est jamais trop cosmisque”. I misunderstood her and thought she said “c’est jamais Crocosmic”. I thought about this conversation for a few days, and eventually realized that I really liked it. It has this biding side that sounds good (just like a crocodile), it’s original and it fits well with the spirit of the blog. That’s why I kept it.

What made you start photography?

I don’t really know. Maybe I got this passion when, as a child, I watched a polaroid slowly print a photograph. Or maybe when I plunged those little cars that would change color in hot water. Or this night when I thought that shadows on my tent where aliens on the lookout and I didn’t dare to come out all night long. In short my passion must have come from visual sensations that left a mark on me. Later I felt like exploring and sharing those sensations through photography.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I usually start from something that really attracts me. But the difficulty is that I often have too many subjects in line of sight, or on the contrary, I don’t have any of them. It is not easy to stay the course without getting distracted when I have too many subjects, and it is quite trying to patiently try to find one when I don’t have enough of them.

Is there an artist or a work that you particularly admire?

Yes, I particularly like the atmosphere of Alfred Stieglitz’s nocturnal photographs, the movement decomposition of Eadweard Muybridge, the emotional aspect of Daido Moriyama’s wanderings in Shinjuku, or more recently, the plastic strangeness of Emma Hartvig’s pictures.

What about your artistic process? Which message do you want to convey through your works?

My starting point is always linked to something that fascinates me. It can be the interplay of light and shade, feelings of strangeness, or anything the eye cannot see. Then comes an exploration phase based on shots, observation sessions, photo retouching and even sometimes photomontage. In the end, I consider photography as a travel diary in my emotional landscape. My objective is to create pictures that can connect with the people looking at my work. It can be through a strong impression, a reassessment, a reflexion, a discovery, a complicity or any other reaction.

Can you tell us about your previous exhibitions? What did you gain from your experience?

The exhibitions at Ixelles school of arts were always great, but as we were a bit separated from the other studios, we didn’t have a lot of visibility, but it allowed me to try different kinds of hanging up (the worse one was when I tried to hang my photographs on a net casted between two metal bars, in the end, everything fell on the floor). With my recent exhibition at Le Mumure, I got more feedback and met more people. I hardly find time to prepare exhibitions but I’d like to change this and exhibit more often.

What is your motto at work?

Well, a motto? I’m not sure that I followed any motto; I’m not a “verbal” person and I have values rather than principles… But if I had to choose one I would say something like: “It is a delight to explore the things you’re fond of”.

According to you, which one of your works illustrates it better?

I think that this photograph is quiet revealing:

What about your experience with Airplane Mode?

I really like their approach and their dynamism; I think that this kind of mindset gathers passionate people. Moreover, their events seem cool to me, and our collaboration promises to be great!