Helios VIII at the Biscuit Factory

A first edit of my final major project has been selected to be exhibited at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle for Helios VIII, a showcase of the very best talent in new and emerging photographic artists from the North of England.

I’m going only for to the preview on Thursday 14th October 6pm – 8pm, but the exhibition will be up until the 14th of November so there’s plenty of time to visit it if you happen to be in the North East 🙂

The Biscuit Factory, 16 Stoddart Street, Newcastle

(open Sunday and Monday 11-5pm; Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6pm)

Personae

“Personae” offers a rare visual insight into the world of street performers.

A persona, in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or character played by an actor.

Jung called man’s mask the persona – the name for the mask worn by the actor in the ancient Greek theatre – and visualised it as the manner or system which we have created for ourselves to help us adjust to the world. The danger to which Jung points lies in the total identification with one’s persona, which may finally come to be what the actual person is not, but what he and other people believe him to be.

This series is an attempt to focus on the shift between person and persona in the lives of three people who perform as living statues in Italy and it’s part of a bigger ongoing documentary project about street performers.


Final Major Project – The Exhibition

I started this blog to keep track of the developments of my final major project, but I’ve been so busy with my last year at uni that I completely forgot about it.

I handed in the project and I printed a selection of pictures to exhibit for my degree show, but I don’t feel like it is finished yet and I would like to carry on making it, meeting more performers and keeping in touch with the ones that I’ve photographed so far.

A first edit of this work has been selected to be exhibited at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle for Helios VIII, a showcase of the very best talent in new and emerging photographic artists from the North of England.

A selection of images from this project will be exhibited in London during the first photography week of Free Range Art and Design Show at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane.

This Thursday there will be the opening of the show and if anyone is reading this blog, well, you’re welcome to come along, nick some free booze and celebrate (possibly having a look at the pictures in the meanwhile).

Final Major Project – The Genesis

I’ve finally decided to inaugurate this blog with some thoughts about my final major project.

First of all I would like to explain why it took me so long to start using this blog: I’m italian and my english is so poor that I often feel too embarrassed  to write in this language and I make many mistakes.

Anyway I’ve decided that I should make an effort to overcome this problem to be able to document the progresses of my final major project.

This is the most important project of my course of studies, it determines most of my degree grade and it is quite long, starting in January and ending in May.

Well, actually it was supposed to begin in January, but I had a huge creative block and I didn’t shoot anything until approximately three weeks ago.

I couldn’t come up with any good idea, I was stuck because I couldn’t think of anything that would be good enough for such an important project.

After all the research about semiotics that I’ve done to write my dissertation I’ve found myself skeptical about many aspects of photography as a media and this disillusionment about the essence of my discipline wasn’t helping the genesis of this project at all.

I kept thinking about why I photograph and if there is any meaning in my practice beyond my shallow enjoyment of taking pictures.

Every time that I’m stuck with my work I tend to move in the college library and spend my days researching the work of other photographers, reading interviews, looking at pictures and absorbing informations like a sponge.

I normally end up more confused than ever till I get some sort of mystic englightment about the what to do.

For this project I’ve found myself coming back frequently to the work of Diane Arbus, Michal Chelbin and Mary Ellen Mark, three female photographers who deeply inspire me.

I was particularly fascinated by the pictures of circus performers of these photographers, but I didn’t want to do the same kind of work and I finally got the idea of making my project about the street performers who act as living statues.

Performers of this kind are a common sight in the street of Rome and I have always been fascinated by their acts, since I first saw them when I was a little girl.

Ten years ago there were only a few living statues working in Rome, passionate mime artists with elaborate and original costumes, while nowadays the city centre is crowded by street performers working sometimes at a distance of a few meters from each other in the main touristic streets like via del Corso and via dei Fori Imperiali.

Nowadays most of the “living statues” are just beggars and immigrants who wear standardized costumes with  plastic masks to conceal their identities and the occasional movement of the face.

I soon realised that it could be an interesting topic for my major project because of the different questions that it could explore (like the role of the street performer in modern society and the immigration problem in Italy).