issue #08: starring objects
1. What a photographer takes with his/her shots is a mental journey… towards a place, a person or an object. Do you remember a particular object, or a series of objects, that you decided to photograph? What is the memory attached to this shot? If you were to give this shot a title, what would it be?
I appreciate the reading of the mental journey that begins with a shot… I wish it were always like that. I wish not everything had to be reduced to a technicality, a stylistic correctness, the search for symmetry. In my ideal present, a shot should not be analysed rationally, but perceived, listened to. Even though I photograph objects almost every day, it seems absurd to say that I do not feel a real connection with them. And it took me five years of study in the field of design to understand why they really fascinate me. From the design approach, they hold the attention of the bond that people create with them. I am interested in the role that objects take on in a given context, how they are used, the relationship that exists with those who design them, with those who own them, with those who covet them, live with them, with those who are repelled by them. Can food be considered an object? I just ask this question, because it is the focus of the first series (of objects) I decided to photograph. Food was seen as the focus of lived tensions, the result of triggered experiences, of assimilation and ways of doing things. The memory is one of an unguarded gaze, my desire was to let myself go without guidelines or predictions, giving space to intuition. I expressed a feeling of difficulty and incomprehension that coexisted with a desire to understand the paradigms of a pleasure relationship through sensory analysis, abandoning control and judgement. The memory is that of observation from a new point of view of contact, of a discovery, of liquid and hopeful fluidity leaking out of something material and sterile. To look calmly, with desire. The project already has a title and it is called “Eating Emotions: 10 recipes to nourish the spirit and lighten the relationship with food”, which I produced with a therapy centre: Infes Forum Prevenzione in Bolzano (Italy). The photographs show the visceral passages in which food, seen as objects, becomes a medium.
Thinking of photographs of slightly special objects, I remember a series of triptychs developed for a brand of glasses. I wanted to shoot images with a lived-in feeling, portraying their luxurious context in which these glasses are used. (We) I introduced fish and drapery as styling elements into the shots, and told the story of their materiality through such zoomed-in details that sometimes the food blended in with the objects themselves. There were also macro shots of human faces, interacting with the glasses and letting their breaths evaporate or settle inside.
I also vividly remember several series of shots of jewellery. I like to create parallel worlds around objects, which allow me to remove them from their main use or (sometimes sterile) appearance, and catapult them into a living universe that (breathes and) changes.
I believe that this is what clients like about my work: they are the first ones who are curious about making their objects alive, warm, telling their value and what lies beyond appearance.
2. Let’s think about a trip you take in your heart, and imagine that you have to send a postcard showcasing an object (rather than a typical landscape). What journey would that be? What object would be printed on the postcard? Why is that the object?
It may sounds obvious, but for me it is important when you travel, how you travel and how much I can get away from the worries or doubts of the present to breathe deeply, savouring the word I live in. I travel when I can look behind what I see in a different way and when I feel curious in doing so, I travel when I grow, I travel when I feel a grip on a situation, when I feel complicity, when I feel trust, when I can make connections and the brain branches out. I travel whenever I feel emotions and vibrations, when I face something with awareness and the right predisposition to be able to manage the present in a fruitful and enjoyable way, in the words of Csikszentmihályi (Hungarian psychologist): “I only travel when I feel I am mentally and physically in a flow”.
I would also remind those perfumed journeys in which you feel your skin, where breaths become thick and the height of pleasure reveals otherwise unexplored landscapes, journeys in which my person no longer has a physical form, nor does the context, journeys in which everything floats and it doesn’t matter what or how you did it.
The object portrayed in the postcard would be the projection of a vision, unknown or unidentifiable, with ill-defined contours. And, even if it did have outlines, they would have been altered, bitten… Alternatively, the object could be a fluid, a mixture, an abstract form symbolising the quest and depicting the consistency of sensations and enjoyments.
3. Who would you send it to? What message would you write?
I would send it to those who, at that moment, I think could read it, avoiding “the cold ones”… Those who do not live by intensity, those who avoid emotions, those who do not accept the viscerality of things, I think they would not understand it… Indeed, now that I think about it, it would be worth sending it to them. I would write that I wish them the same.