by Enoch Rios
Q: Your recent work, “Nothing’s Cool,” has a very nostalgic, dream-like, melancholy quality to it, but it also exhibits a sense of humor and wonder. How would you best describe the subject matter of these photographs?
RIOS: Subject matter is not as relevant as the sincerity I search for. I try to be sensitive to my surroundings so when they present themselves in an honest way I can recognize and record it. The subject is a container for the hope I feel. Is hope nostalgic and melancholy? I don’t know.
Q: Can you explain your process for making pictures?
RIOS: First, I get real nervous and anxious about too many things to name. Then I get real depressed about a lot of things, too. Then I miss a lot of people I’ve known that are gone and some that are just in distant places. Then I get real down on myself for not being good at anything. Then I get mad at myself because I should go take pictures and get mad at myself for being so mad at myself. Then something that was always there looks different. So I look at it, and it’s so amazing I want to look at it forever and I want people I love and care about to see it, too, and I want to tell them that all that other crap is just crap. I don’t know if that’s even a process or what.
Q: You often incorporate found-photographs and objects into your work. Your series, “My Detroit Cousin Randy,” for example, is a collection of found-photographs that you actively curate. Do you think your instinct as a curator is different from your instinct as an image-maker?
RIOS: Not really, but maybe. It’s more internalized when I’m not present in the environment that I’m photographing. Maybe the found stuff has more to do with relationships of people and me trying to restart their events and insert them into our own. All of it evolves out of a sense of loss.
Enoch Rios is a multimedia artist and photographer currently working out of Texas.