For this project, I decided to relate to the concept of photophobia, the illness that consists in not tolerating large amounts of light, which has always caused me problems in the everyday life.
In fact, when I glimpse a strong light, my eyes cannot define immediately all the subjects but I see only overexposed figures.
I think that could be defined as a pivotal fact in this aesthetic research my decision to talk about this illness through the technique of the portrait, in fact in my humble point of view, the portrait is the more intimate form of communication.
Also, for the composition of my portraits I always looking to the master of the past such as Leonardo, but I really appreciate the portraits in the contemporary photography as well, for mention one, I really fell myself inspirited by the work of Rineke Dijkstra, it is going without saying that, her representation of the reality and her simplicity are flabbergasting.
Deducting it from an interview that she did for “The Popular photography” on 17 December 2008 I can announce that I feel to have some points of contact with her work:
She wants to show things that people might not see in normal life, making normal things appear special, looking at life in a new and different way but it always based on reality and leaving space for interpretation.
In my works, I always seek to find unpretentious interpretations and different points of view, suggesting the spectator always new points to think about.
Also, I find an artist that put perfectly beside his works a strong concept correlated of some kind of illness, such as the really deep the link between the reflection work made by Ren Hang and his mental turmoil, the disease of depression. As a proof of that is really fascinating his work called “My Depression” that he made between 2007 and 2016.
It is a perfect example how one illness could influence the work and the entire life of an artist and how it paved the way for a specific aesthetic research.
For this project I could admit that I was largely influenced by the work made by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt called oblique strategies (over one Hundred dilemmas), that consists of a deck of printed cards made to help artists to break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking.
I picked up 3 random cards and I decided to build my shooting on those points:
.Make a sudden, disruptive unpredictable action
.Emphasize the flaws
In the first time, the plan was to cover the eyes of my subjects through some objects, but I noticed that that idea lacked effective in communicating the sensation of what I feel when I find myself in front of a strong light.
So I decided to create a kind of light spots in their faces, so my intention was to make them blind.
Furthermore, at the same time, this spot of light wants to have a second meaning, a sort of censorship in their faces, as I wanted their faces to be not perfectly defined, because for this project they cease to be complete beings and become precisely the reflection of myself, which cannot and should not be sharp, but blurred.
As I have previously mentioned, I deliberately decided to risk choosing an unconventional approach to analog photography, adding to the human artifact, in some sense destroyed a part of the very essence of the image in order to prevail my existence to that of the subject represented.
I can announce that I am convinced that choosing to use inappropriate subjects and accentuating a problem might have been dangerous but it may be a different reading key than usual, and I think the work of Julian Baron Garcia with his sere C.E.N.S.U.R.A has widely inspired me, even though honestly that his work main purpose was to be a kind of censorship, while my own, instead, puts it naked or even tries, my soul.
The purpose of my project is not a sort of cataloging, as did by August Sender or the Becher spouses during their life , but a representation (or interpretation) of them through a sort of filter, which without any inconvenience to Immanuel Kant critique of pure reason and his theory that each of us sees reality through a sort of colored filters.
Instead, it wants to be a kind of homage - outrage to concepts repeatedly debated in post-modern art , such as the alienation of subjects in a society in which entities and people mingled in other to be no longer a defined being and in according with what Jean Baudrillard announced on his book Simulacra and Simulation, what we see is nothing else than a representation of ourselves.
Although, this project speaks about myself in the first person, it also wants to represent people as I see them, as a sort of disturbance, and doing this by becoming a part of them and vice-versa.
I am aware that I have touched an issue that is uncomfortable and is not really simple, but I think that the concept of identity is a theme that has to be debated.
Also citing Ways of Seeing by John Berger we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves and not just the pure object.
Also, my subjects are the people who have decided to live my same experience and my same troubles.
This is the reason why the subjects of this series are my course mate, and I see me through their faces, though coming from completely different reality, we are very similar, much more than I first thought.
To conclude, I decided to use plain backgrounds, In other to have not other elements of distraction inside my pictures, In this way, recreating the background of the ID photos, I tried to capture the eyes of the viewer just on the faces of my subjects.