Antonio Bunt: "Making cameras is a way of life"
I found photography as a therapy when I started college in 1993 but I never took it as both therapy and a serious profession until 1999 when I started a group where we exchanged techniques and similar points of view. I rediscovered pinhole photography and alternative processes.
For me these techniques represent my delight for historic research in photography and I keep on practicing them even though digital imaging has surpassed any conceivable future. I think pinhole photography has a particular aesthetics and since I can’t see very well, it liberates me from what I call my "vision anguish" since I don't have to focus the lens, I just point and shoot and the results still amaze me, giving back that surprise factor this modern civilization has taken away from us.
The series you see displayed here is me sharing how I see the world with my defective eyes. Locked-up is a series I made after I returned to Mexico City by the end of October 2001. I lived in Montreal for a more or less extended period but I had to come back home for many, many reasons not worth discussing here.
When I got back to my old flat in Condesa neighborhood I started feeling very scared to go out so, I let myself be carried away by this irrational feeling (anyway all feelings are irrational, hence the lack of reason) and I committed myself to my apartment and I stayed here until the beginning of March 2002. So, to avoid losing my mind, I took my first oatmeal box pinhole camera and started photographing my surroundings, my constrained surroundings.
See the Pinhole Series "Locked up" by Antonio Bunt
So I went out after a long time but pinhole has always been there for me so I decided to build my own pinhole cameras, custom-made to satisfy my imaging needs rather than the other way around. I started with simple designs such as the oatmeal box but soon, after taking a workshop about making nonconventional cameras, my mind expanded and I started making even weirder cameras.
I adapted an old Land Camera for instant pinhole photos. I made a camera with three optics (wide angle, normal and telephoto lens), another that took four images on one 4X5 (my favorite format) and I even did some "spy" cameras, adapting "innocent" containers (tea, lotion, sweets) so I can take pictures of "banned" subjects (something very common in Mexico).
My most recent project is a large format camera that accepts normal 4X5 film holders but has three pinhole interchangeable optics, tripod threads, a barrel lens and a "focusing" screen.
Making cameras for me is a way of life. So every time you see me observing an unusual container, chances are, I'm analyzing how it can work for an unusual camera... Antonio Bunt
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