Fragments of the Interview with Nick Knight by Filep Motwary
FM: Mr Knight, being a photographer and film director, what would be your observation, your verdict on the body? How would you say documenting fashion serves in understanding the body?
NK: I just got out of a lesson where I am doing Pilates, so for the last – probably eight years – I have a personal trainer teaching me Pilates, which I did partly because I used to work with a 10”x8” plate camera, which is, I don’t know if you know, a big camera that takes one sheet of film to shoot at a time. It’s about the size of a television set and really hard to move around with.
So working with that I started to tear all the muscles of my lower back and had really bad back pain. Generally speaking, photography is physically demanding work, so I thought to myself, this is ridiculous! I just turned 50 and I’m in pain, this is not good and I won’t be able to keep doing the things I love. I will not be able to stand up from a kneeling position to a standing position 300 times a day, and I got to get back into shape if I want to keep taking photographs. Pilates helped me! I wasn’t particularly sporty at school, it was just something I wasn’t into, but I‘ve always been tall and slender so my build belongs to someone who should have been into those things, if you want.
So now, from my 50th year onwards, I am discovering how my body works, the muscles in my body and how everything is linked and connected and that it is not just about parts. I find these functions all very fascinating, this physicality of how the body works. I don’t know if you are aware that the original plan was that I would become a doctor?
The full interview is available exclusively on the Polimoda Journal as part of THEOREM[A]: The Body, Emotion + Politics in Fashion, a Polimoda publication composed of interviews by Filep Motwary with influential figures in contemporary fashion. THEOREM[A] was published by Skira and is available for purchase online by pressing here.
As part of the Polimoda fashion publication THEOREM[A]: The Body, Emotion + Politics in Fashion, author and curator Filep Motwary spoke with iconic image maker Nick Knight, one of the world’s most influential and visionary photographers and founder of the award-winning fashion website SHOWstudio.
Published exclusively online, Motwary’s gripping interview with Knight explores the essence and perception of the body, poetic emotion and politics, touching specifically on the issues and controversies surrounding the current state of fashion.
Portrait photo by Ruth Hogben. Thank you, Emily Knight, Charlotte Knight, Britt Lloyd, Rob Rusling and Carrie Scott at SHOWstudio.