Our seventy seventh interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer and artist Rejane Rubino from São Paulo, Brazil. You may know her from her popular Instagram account @rejanerubino. This is a really engaging interview, it represents a real paean of praise to an artist of luminous talent. Enjoy!
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Whalberg, Andrea Bigiarini, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios, Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør, Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş , MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe), John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk, Rita Tipunina, Violet Martins, Nizzar Ben Chekroune, Lynette Sheppard, Paul-André Hamel and myself, go here.
All images ©Rejane Rubino
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
I can’t remember having ambitions in my childhood, but I had quite a few desires, like to be a ballerina or an actress. I used to play I was a TV host and interview my child cousins, recording the interview on a tape recorder. I read a lot and felt fascinated by fiction in its many forms. When I was about nine, I wrote a version of a play I had seen at school and attempted to rehearse it with my child friends and neighbours. But I can’t remember if we ever performed it to the “public”.
My teachers at school thought my compositions were well written and creative, so they often asked me to read them aloud to my colleagues. I remember feeling shy and flattered at the same time.
I worked as a baby-sitter during high-school years.
Private or State school?
I attended public school during preschool and primary education. It was a very significant experience since it made me aware, from a very early age, of the huge social inequalities in Brazil. As the quality of public education was declining at that time, my mother decided I should go to private education when I reached high school.
University or Work?
University. I took a degree in Fonoaudiologia (Speech-Language Pathology and Therapy) at the Catholic University and have been practicing it ever since. After a couple of years as a patient of Psychoanalysis, I decided to undertake Psychoanalysis training and nowadays I work as a psychoanalyst.
Along with my clinical practice, I always felt the urge to dedicate myself to some sort of creative enjoyment, most of the times related to writing. I began to photograph a few years ago and photography has become a real passion for me, an increasingly special means of creative expression.
Who was or is still your mentor?
It is hard to name one mentor, for I believe I’ve had quite a few.
As a psychoanalyst, of course, Sigmund Freud is my number one reference. His bravery in upholding the idea that we humans are radically unaware of the forces commanding our lives makes his work a milestone which, in my view, has not yet been fully assimilated into our culture (and probably never will).
In photography – which still is quite a new field for me – there are many artists whose work touches my heart. Even though photography as a language can be used for very different purposes, it is a form of poetry for me. So, maybe even in photography my favourite poets are always there for me, giving me a helping hand.
How physically fit are you?
I’m 58 and consider myself to be in reasonably good shape. For the last few years I’ve been trying to take better care of this, for ageing makes this increasingly necessary. I practice Pilates twice a week and go for a walk in the park whenever I can. I enjoy going to the park very early and taking some photos, but I rarely manage to wake up early enough. I have also been trying to find place for some Yoga practice on my schedule.
Ambition or talent: What matters more to success?
I don’t usually think about success in relation to my photography. It came into my life as some sort of pleasurable interlude and it still feels the same. But it is my ambition to continue developing my work in photography and take it further as a form of expression.
How politically committed are you?
We are going through very tough times in Brazil at this very moment, and many other countries are experiencing similar situations. Although I feel emotionally drained by the frenzy of political news, I still feel the need to keep myself informed.
I am not a member of any political party and shall never be (since I don’t really trust any of them). But for me it is almost impossible to remain politically indifferent today.
I believe we need to be vigilant and find small ways to fight a global economic system that puts profits over the lives of people and threatens the future of our planet. I am not sure of what can result from small actions, but I still believe we need to try.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
I would like to have more free time. Time seems to be the most precious “possession” to me today.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
I used to be very extravagant about books when I was young. On my first trip to London (that was long before the internet made foreign literature more accessible) I spent hours on end in bookshops and bought an amazing number of poetry books I longed for and were impossible to find in Brazil. I literally filled my bags with pounds and pounds of books!
Nowadays, I don’t think I indulge in any big extravagance… (Oh my God, am I becoming overly sensible?)
In what places are you happiest?
Close to nature. On a remote and empty beach in Bahia I use to go to every summer.
What ambitions do you still have?
I would very much like to have my husband and I retire comfortably in a few years’ time so that we could decide in which activities to engage in strictly by choice. Then I could dedicate a little more time to photography and other personal projects.
What drives you on?
Many different things drive me on. The first cup of coffee in the morning. Novelty. Discovering and enjoying new artists. Developing my work. Moving forward.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
It may sound a bit odd, but my greatest achievement is the work I have done so far in my psychoanalytical treatment. And also, my friendships and my relationship with my husband.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
People who are very strict and controlling usually irritates me.
If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would she think?
I guess she would be surprised. She would consider my paths in life a bit too erratic. But I guess she would eventually understand that life does not unfold as planned and appreciate the person I became.
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
Usually I don’t care too much about lost objects. But I had a great vinyl collection which I donated when I went to live abroad. I don’t regret donating the collection, but I miss certain songs and rare albums I cannot find in streaming services.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Preserve our planet and all forms of life (the ones we did not destroy yet) in our planet. Preserve and respect human lives and human rights.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Not really. I think most people (including me) keep the idea of their own mortality so much at bay… The idea of dying is very difficult to endure, so we end up creating all sorts of unconscious artifices to maintain the illusion that our lives (I mean this life, life as we know it) will be eternal. As I see it, it doesn’t do us any good. I think we should believe in death.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
I guess it would be an 8. For me, it sounds pretty good!
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