The piece of culture that most influences my work is the news. Yes, the daily news. It might sound strange that it is not a piece of music, film or artwork – I am, of course, inspired by those things – but I’m really interested in what is going on in the world and how my work can respond to it.
Apart from the obvious – keeping up with politics and world events – I like to see what is simmering under the surface, what is in the atmosphere and, therefore, what might be the current zeitgeist. I remember around the time of the Sport England ads ["This girl can", 2015, pictured, above], the tabloids would post pictures of women relaxing on their holidays, and would point out their cellulite. That was why I was determined to showcase cellulite in such a positive way in the fi lm – own it.
For Libresse and Nike, the conversations about women and women’s rights in the news over the past couple of years are the context for those works and the reason I have wanted to make work in that space that is inspiring and positive.
Currently, there is so much challenging news and reporting on the environment, from Extinction Rebellion to the scientific reports on the natural world and the political pushback, that I feel compelled to find a project that might help contextualise what is going on and inspire change.
Kim Gehrig is a director based in Los Angeles