EVENT: Capp discusses her latest collection, Americana, at Elliott Bay Book Company on Sat Dec 16, 7:30 pm.
What was the catalyst for Americana? "I started molding the idea before leaving for Africa in the fall of 1999. When I came back to New York, the material was much more coherent to me. Most of the work was done in tandem with the work I had done on Hutterite: A World of Grace. I had focused so much on that one subject that I didn't realize a parallel body of work was developing and informing the other project as well. I moved to Soap Lake in Eastern Washington and discovered the Hutterite community in the area. My interest in being there was based in my attraction to small towns and American vernacular, as well as a strong attraction to the landscape and light quality east of the mountains. Over the next six years I would include work from New York and many other regions in America."
When did you start taking photographs? "When I finished my undergraduate degree at McGill, where I studied languages and literature. In my last semester I took an introduction to photography class. That was the first time anyone had shown me how to properly work in a darkroom. I loved it. It was not an intellectual decision at all, but just happened by chance, like meeting someone that you like. Basically, I'm self-taught. Years later, I moved to New York and worked as an apprentice to Ralph Gibson, which was like being in art school. It was an opportunity to see into the life of someone who lives and works as a photographer and who devotes great energy and expertise to the idea and process of the 'photography book.'"
What draws you to your subject matter? "I'm interested in unknown territories. Though I'm not opposed to photographing most anything that captures my imagination, I am particularly interested in people who don't get much attention. They're so unfiltered. That same interest in the unknown and unfiltered attracts me to the places and objects that I choose to photograph, as well as the people I encounter."