Now residing in the UK, Alma Haser originally hails from Germany, where she grew up in a richly creative and arts based environment. It’s this time in her childhood that she returns to with her new series, ‘The Ten Seconds Project’ in which she plays ‘hide and seek’ with herself and her camera.
The rush and excitement felt when playing the game as a child translates well in the images with falling fabric and the motion of limbs captured in a hazy blur against the static background, giving the photographer’s work a real sense of movement and mischief. Having already exhibited at the Candid Arts Trust in London last month, Dazed Digital decided to speak to Alma about her plans to make this project viral and get everyone playing again.
Dazed Digital: Tell us about The Ten Seconds Project, what was the inspiration for it?
Alama Haser: The Ten Seconds Project plays homage to the childhood game of ‘hide and seek’. When my younger brother and I were young we were left to run wild and invent our own games. My father would film us when it was his turn to watch over us. I rediscovered the videos of my brother and I playing a funny version of hide and seek, where we’d hide in small spaces only really covering our faces. I decided to recreate this simple game using my cameras, one to capture a shot of me hiding, and a camera to video the process (as my father did.)
DD: You’ve said you hope others will join you in this project, what has the response been like so far?
Alma Haser: I have had quite a few people interested in the project. There has been lots of support from fellow artists and the public who had seen my work when it was first exhibited at the Candid Arts Trust. Submissions are now coming through from around the world, which will shortly be going up on the website, so keep an eye out!
DD: There’s a distinct playfulness to your work, was it important to you to echo the same sentiments as the original ‘hide and seek’ game?
Alma Haser: For me it has always been more about re-creating of the game I played with my brother, replacing my brother for my cameras. I was older, and therefore the boss; I got to choose where to hide, and if my brother found a better hiding space, I would often reclaim it as my own. But yes it is still the same structure as the original fun game of hide and seek. I would love people to add their own creativity and definitely have fun when they play hide and seek with their cameras.
DD: What do you feel makes a successful Ten Second photograph?
Alma Haser: The thing that’s great about the project is that you can hide in a space that you know is impossible to get into and the result will be an artistic vision of hide and seek. Also even if you find somewhere you can fit into and almost fully cover yourself, the video will capture your movements and reveal where you’re hidden.
DD: What’s been the most unusual place you or somebody else, has hidden in during this project?
Alma Haser: A bookbinder has sent me a submission of him hiding in one of the paper drawers at his work, which looks pretty funny. I hope that people become more creative with their use of bodies and hiding spaces. I myself have done a few out in public parks, under benches, between statues and bushes with strangers walking dogs looking oddly at me.
DD: What first got you interested in photography? What’s your background?
Alma Haser: My mother is a multi-media artist, and she started experimenting with pinhole photography when I was about seven. I was given my own box brownie when I turned eight and took a few self-portraits with my dolls, developing them in my mother’s darkroom.
In 2002 my mother took my brother and I out of school and around the world. We lived and studied in the Cook Islands for 6 months. My mother set up her darkroom in the bathroom and used myself, my brother, and friends as models. My life has always been very creative; both my parents are artists so it was hard not to follow their footsteps.
DD: What future plans do you have for this project? What other things are you working on?
Alma Haser: Once I have enough people interested I will start getting galleries on board and create a traveling exhibition with all the submissions. I think it will be a great experience to walk into a room full of photographs and the sound of beeps from the videos recording people run from their self-timers.
I also just want to say anyone can play! I realise not everyone has the privilege of owning two camera’s but you can borrow a camera, and please don’t think it has to be a flash one. Use your phone to record the video – making it lighter and easier to stick to your camera taking the picture.
For rules and more information about how to join in Alma’s project click HERE