Photographer Chase Middleton develops stories where the absurd and the strange punctuate the intrigue. It was in the Australian countryside that she grew up, and then in the United States, where she studied photography at Yale University. Between spontaneity and control of the smallest detail, the images of Chase Middleton open worlds without tail or head, where the decorations and the models play the main role.
When did photography impose itself on you as a means of creating?
At the age of 8, I received my first camera. From then on, I started building decorations, capturing self-portraits and photos of my friends. Photography was the only thing that really interested me at that age.
What images do you most like to produce?
The images that happen by accident are my favorite. I am a very organized and strict person. Half of my job is to build decors in my studio and work on the details. However, I like to be surprised by the spontaneity of the world. This is, in my opinion, much more interesting than any other fictional story.
Between strangeness and candor, the models you portray often navigate between these two worlds.
I feel like part of the bizarre element of my photographs stems from the viewer’s discomfort, rather than from my acting as a photographer. I work from two antithetical states; one in which I have just encountered the subject and where I immerse myself in its world and the other, in which the model is finally familiar to me and does what I ask it. These are two very extreme states to start a photoshoot, so I can only assume that it has a lot to do with this feeling of strangeness and candor.
What element helps you to constantly cultivate your inspiration for photography?
Chaos is the most inspiring force in my life today. Then to find peace later. Much like these 90s relaxation exercises where you stretch all the muscles in your body for as long as you can, then let go and breathe in and out. Whatever the psychological version of this comparison is what inspires me the most.