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The Fourth Wall. An interview with Max Pinckers

Belgian photographer Max Pinckers successfully published a crowd-funded photobook this year, which was selected Book of the Week in July by Martin Parr for Photo-Eye. Also on Photo-Eye is Colin Pantall‘s review of The Fourth Wall: Max Pinckers’ Masala Mix. Last winter I had a Skype-conversation with Max about his dummy version of The Fourth Wall, for an interview that was published in Foam Magazine’s spring 2013 issue on photobook dummies. The version posted here slightly differs from the printed one.

Could you tell something about the subject of your photobook dummy The Fourth Wall?

As a child I lived for many years in Asia, and for my previous work, called Lotus, from which I also made a photobook, I focused on transsexuals in Thailand. For my graduation work at the KASK (School of Arts) in Ghent (B), I went on to take photographs on the Bollywood film sets in Mumbai.

When I first came to Mumbai I thought I needed to see many Bollywood movies, so I could use scenes as source material for my photographs, but I quickly figured out that I didn’t need to. Ultimately, I left it to the characters to express some of their favorite scenes. On the film sets one could always find some corners left unused. I set up my lights and found people to pose for me. I used these backgrounds to create my own images – the pink cloud in the empty bedroom, for example. I asked the producer if I could let off a smoke bomb, and he gave me permission to do so.

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Foam Magazine #34 Dummy

Cover Foam Magazine #34 Dummy

I contributed four interviews to Foam Magazine #34 – a special issue about photobook dummies (not photobooks for dummies, but dummy dummies) – instead of the usual magazine format, it’s a box containing eight 16-page reproductions of dummies by young and/or emerging photographers, and a booklet with interviews, advertisements, book reviews and other regularities.

Foam Magazine’s editors selected eight book dummies from the huge pile that was submitted to photofestival Unseen‘s Unpublished Dummy Award 2012. One of those is Shinji Otani’s strange and wonderfully laid-out The Country of the Rising Sun, which won the Dummy Award and will soon be published by Lecturis, with design and typesetting by Our Polite Society.

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