Q&A: Ana Zibelnik — We are the ones turning


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? I’m getting better at doing what I want rather than what’s expected of me. I also think that kindness is a bit underrated. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Why we took so many photographs. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Yes. What is it that interests you about photography? How it can move you, how it can be abused, and lately its future. What is the worst thing about city life? Buildings obscuring the sun, but I also find bikes very threatening. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Japan. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Star signs. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Astrophysics or botany. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? More often it’s the other way around: I have a camera, but I wish I hadn’t so I could simply experience it. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Chef. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. The first colour portrait of Tolstoy. How often do you take other people’s advice? Only when I like and respect the person who’s giving it. Describe a personal hell. Other people’s monologues. I sometimes experience it as physical stress.

On what occasion do you lie? When telling the truth would have only been easier for me. What was the last crime you witnessed? Forgetting to scan a bottle of olive oil. What is the best way to educate yourself? By challenging yourself to read and do things that are slightly above your level. What is the next book you want to read? If the lockdown continues for a while, I might try The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil again. It has 1130 pages. Ultimate camera? No particular attachments towards cameras – depends on the project. Most used camera? Iphone & Mamiya RB 67. What object do you want? A car. What object do you need? Glasses. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? It’s like a brain shared among a lot of people with conflicting interests. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Yes. Describe a cheap thrill. Caffè corretto. Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. I would love to have been present when the Earthrise was taken in 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission. Are impulses more important than consequences? Yes. Which talent would you most like to have? Rhetorical skills. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Go out and get some sun (surprisingly, it’s been sunny ever since the quarantine started in the Netherlands), work on an article, answer emails, read.

We are the ones turning (ongoing, 2019 – )

Mortals are those who experience death as death. In this sense, human beings are identified by an awareness of the fact that they are running out of time; an awareness which is reinforced and revisited simply by living. We are the ones turning explores how we grapple with the possibility of impossibility in everyday life – a topic that extends far beyond the fear of death and can deeply affect our perception of time. The series combines the prosaic with the uncanny, the sentimental with the insensible, thus contrasting the mechanical flow of time, symbolised by the clock, with our experience of it. The gesture of the turning hands, which sets the rhythm of the series as its Leitmotif, is derived from American Sign Language, where it indicates the notion of death.

Ana Zibelnik (b. 1995, Ljubljana) is a photographer currently based in the Netherlands. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2018 and is currently completing her MA degree in film and photographic theory at Leiden University. She has developed, published, and exhibited her work both independently and under the axis of If Slovenia Were and lately within the 2nd cycle of PARALLEL – European Photo Based Platform. In 2019, she won the Verzasca Nera award for her series We Are the Ones Turning and was selected as the GUP New Talent of the year 2020, as well as a Haute Photographie 2020 Talent.

To see more of Ana Zibelnik’s work visit — Website / Instagram.