Hotel [by Karla Gachet & Ivan Kashinsky]

It has been more than a decade since we first met. The first time we traveled together to make pictures was in 2002, in the Nevada desert. Here, a city gets created as fast as it gets destroyed and people let go of their clothes and prejudices. Art becomes the only valid language for a week. I remember we were naked and painted, one yellow and the other blue, running with camera in hand in the midst of a sandstorm. That night we zipped up our tiny tent. The next morning we woke up green. We felt connected. That was the beginning of a life in constant motion, full of colors, storms and spaces created in tents or hotel rooms. A life seen through two lenses, where our own privacy has always been documented.

Being in a relationship with another photographer can be both a blessing and a curse. There is no clear line dividing our personal life from our work.  The two coexist under one roof and are, at the end, the same thing. When we spend months in the same car or weeks in hotel rooms, our tolerance is tested. Then, the camera becomes the tool we use to release tension and peel off the outside world. We have stayed in endless hotel rooms, from the most basic and inexpensive (with 70’s style decorations and insect bloodstains on the wall,) to the most expensive ones, which are always the most hygienic, generic, and graceless. Regardless of the quality of the hotel room, or where in the world it is, it becomes our fortress.  We begin to fill it up with our clothes and our scent and suddenly it becomes an extension of us. And then, we feel free to create.

For us, these pictures have always been an intimate tale in which we use our eroticism to push the visual boundaries. Our mutual obsession with color, shape and light has resulted in an extensive archive of photographs. We call these images our "Hotel Series." But we had never shared them because it meant putting our guard down and letting foreign eyes look inside our world. This in itself is a contradiction because this is how we make our living, exposing other people’s realities. So when we were invited to this exhibition, we chose these pictures because we like them, because they are truthful, while at the same time full of fantasy and tension, and because it forces us to show our side of the story. This, in itself, is liberating.

Looking through ten years of photographs has brought up many memories. We look back and realize we have grown up together and that the road has been complex. We have experienced unique situations that only we understand. And for this we feel fortunate and grateful to continue to exist in each other's lives.

Ivan y Karla