Louis, let’s start off with our usual first question – what is your modus operandi? In your specific case – are books and seriality the two supporting elements of your work?
Yes indeed – I always start with a series, a project that then becomes an exhibition and eventually a book. Working with series is definitely my modus operandi which I can’t move away from – maybe because I studied in Germany! My starting point is always an interest towards a specific theme – aesthetic suggestions usually come whilst I deepen my knowledge on the subject and then often move towards unexpected paths.
On top of this, there is my very strong interest towards publishing. I am in fact working with Delfino Sisto Legnani, colleague and friend, on a project that aims to collect and promote works of young authors through the publication of a series of books. In this specific case, I would be working behind the scenes, as a promoter.
The seriality of your work – proceeding with coherence in the developing of a project, meant as formal rigour of an image – is always somehow accompained by a subtle irony, as if to highlight the small mistakes and imperfections that break into reality and everyday transforming the banal into something interesting and somehow theatrical.
I am Italian – irony is an essential part of my nature. However, I was hoping that by moving to the Bauhaus University to study photography I would have acquired a bit more rigour.. So it is true what you just said – there is a bond between rigour and irony in my work which is completely unintentional and spontaneous because it is intrinsic in the way I see things.
The thread that connects all of my works is the liminal zone between the banal and the unusual, the sacred and the profane, the form and its content. Photography is the medium I use to highlight this aspect clearly noticeable in my series “Besides Faith”.
You live and work both in Italy and Germany – we can say you managed to settle down in both. Is it possible for you to make a comparison between the two countries, or even give your final opinion on the problematic question – Italy yes or Italy no?
Let me start off by saying this – in Italy, saying that you are an artist, is almost a taboo. It immediately leads to the question “so how do you earn a living?”. However, in Berlin, where I actually work, the art world has reached a certain point of saturation. This means that even though producing work and exhibiting is easier, there is a high risk of your work to get lost in the enormous amount of supply.
In Milan, everything is more condensed so to say – the ones who work in this field know exactly what is happening, where to go and what to see. Becoming an established artist is more difficult but richer in meaning. As everything in life, it would be ideal to find an “in-between”.
Do you think there is also a difference in the way photographic art is perceived? In Italy we are still stuck with the differentiation between art and photography, especially when it comes to dealing with the market…
For sure – I feel that everything that happens abroad arrives in Italy at a slow burn. After all, is good to remember that photography arrived in the collectors’ market way after all the other art forms. In Italy, the medium is still a bit too shy. This can be a loss but also a gain – we still have a lot of space and time for research. Through our publishing project, we would like to work on this – reconnaissance talents and put them under the spotlight.
Our usual final question – elevator pitch. You find yourself in a elevator with a famous critic/curator – how would you convince him to look at your work?
By stopping the elevator? Honestly, I think the most banal thing of just showing it to him would be the most effective.. Out of all the questions you asked, there was one that really interested me – “what do you expect from your work?” I find that the goal of fine art photography is actually that of making the viewer ask himself/herself some questions. Commercial photography on the other end gives answers. I think that this questioning is what gets a critic or a viewer to engage with a project.