This is an extract from the interview gave by Timothy Archibald to Veine for The War Issue. Find the rest in the issue right here !
Hi Timothy. Would you please tell us who you are, what you do and where?
Timothy Archibald. I’m a photographer living and working in San Francisco, CA. I work commercially as a photographer, but have always been working on my personal projects which is the work people always seem to want to discuss.
How did you came to photography ? What is your career pathway ?
I was introduced to photography when I was 14. My photography teacher at the local college thought it would be interesting to let a kid take one of his classes. He really was a teacher who taught photography as expression, not as a technical craft. I was super fortunate to really be shown that path, and given that tool, at an age when you are really searching for something. It was a powerful tool to me from the very beginning.
We contacted you especially for your «Echolilia» project. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Around the time my eldest son Eli was 5, his unusual behavior had really taken over our home. It seemed like every day was pre-occupied with trying to figure out what was different about Eli. Around that time, out of frustration and curiosity, I began to photograph him. We’d have time alone and I felt I could maybe understand him better if I photographed him…or I could get ahead of the problem and inspect it or something. None the less we started making images. Firstly of him, but then he began wanting to collaborate with the image making. He’d come up with a pose, I’d find a simple place with nice light for him to do that pose, and together we’d make a photograph. A few months into this, he was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. That may have explained some things, but didn’t really answer any questions. We continued making these images as a way to figure out the rest of the un-answered stuff. And the images that resulted…well they look unlike anything I had created before. We continued this process for 3 years.