POSTCARD

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti

issue #08: starring objects

Caleido tells the Travel diary of Stefania Zanetti, photographer. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

Diary of: @steynesthesia

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Chair 1:1, A.Stabile V. Venezia | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Dente, Mikel Peruch | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Research, R+D | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
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.

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Tobe, Benedetta Grasso | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Research, R+D | Ph. Stefania Zanetti

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.

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Proiezione, Andrea Grecucci | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
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”.

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Story, Ferremi | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Glass Manifesto, Naba Student with Astrid Luglio | Ph. Stefania Zanetti

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.

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Flux, Sarah Richiuso | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
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.

Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Nebula, Serena Confalonieri | Ph. Stefania Zanetti
Postcard of Stefania Zanetti
Stefania Zanetti
Stefania Zanetti works in Milan as a freelance photographer in various fields, mainly in the field of still-life of design products. In her work she uses the lens of the design world and that of human behaviour. She teaches photography at Naba and collaborates with various magazines, editing and creating various visual and textual contents. Through edible materials she researches the concept of intimacy and creates micro-worlds that she would like to inhabit. She develops various personal projects through practices that feed her sensory vision. Edible materials are for her a filter of analysis and the centre of various experiments and reflections on the concept of care. Many times the real value of her work lies in the flaws of a tool that she continues to refine and adapt, in the search for the emotional side. The camera seems to be able to open every door as the subjects drop their defences and find themselves like naked souls letting down their guard in the safe environment created around them.

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