The exhibit designer in the photographic exhibitions planning

The exhibit designer in the photographic exhibitions planning

Laura Tota · 10 months ago · Design, Photography

Among all the professionals involved in the success of an exhibition, the exhibit designer certainly plays a key role. We asked a few questions to Andrea Isola who holds this role and has been collaborating with fairs, museums and festivals for the set up of exhibition projects for many years.

andrea isola
Andrea Isola, credits Crates Design

Of all the professions related to the world of art and photography, perhaps the exhibit designer is the least known one. Can you explain exactly what it is about?
The exhibit designer is the professional who plans the preparation of an exhibition, through basic architectural standards and a good dose of creativity. In simpler terms, the exhibit designer has two fundamental tasks: to make sure that the works of art are exhibited in the best possible way within a given exhibition space and to guarantee the best experience for the public.

In the process of conceiving an exhibition, which professionals, among the insiders, are the ones the exhibit designer interfaces the most with?
In the field of contemporary photography, we usually interface with the curator and artists to ensure that the installation project respects the topic of the exhibition and considers the wishes of those who conceived the photographic project. At the same time, essential for the subsequent construction phase, the exhibit designer interfaces both with the managers of the exhibition space, to have a clear idea of what the limits and potential of the location may be, and with the various suppliers who will produce and mount the exhibition. The direct relationship with the operators in these sector allows you to have a clear and overall picture of the situation to ensure that the initial budget imposed by the customer is respected.

exhibit designer Andrea isola | Collater.al

Photography follows different rules than the classic sculptural or pictorial work of art, also because, in most cases, it is made up of a simple file. How does the approach to the exhibition space change when photographic exhibitions are set up?
From a creative point of view, starting from a simple file gives free rein to ideas, especially if we think of the numerous supports on which a photograph can be printed, from photographic paper to di-bond, from forex to fabrics, from vynil to wood, etc. .. that allow the creation of exhibition layouts of all kinds. However, this does not mean that there are no limits or foundations to respect. The material and size of the print format must be evaluated and chosen according to the type of photographic project, the exhibition space and the budget available.

Is there a (photographic) work among those you have created to which you are particularly attached and for what reason?
I must say that, for different aspects, I am very attached to each project I have created. The latest, for example, which opened in January 2023 at the MAST Foundation in Bologna, is Death by GPS by Salvatore Vitale and it was a very stimulating set-up project because it had strong attention and coherence between the theme of the exhibition, works and exhibition space. Each element in the exhibition has been conceived ad hoc, designed and made to measure, from the 3D frames to the structure that divides the space and supports the screens. Seeing it done was a great satisfaction.

Ph. credits Crates Design, Ivan Cazzola, MAST.

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The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

Giulia Guido · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly / Into the light of the dark black night, sang the Beatles more than fifty years ago, and it is this song, and its message of freedom, that inspired Jamie Johnson in the choice of what is now her stage name, Birdee. Birdee has been shooting since 2014, when she started with self-portraits. Today, her photographs taken mainly in analogical form are able to analyze the themes of femininity, strength and grace.  The young girls who are the protagonists of her shots are beautiful, carefree, suspended but not for this reason they are not determined and tenacious. Moreover, the fact that we almost never show their bodies in full and often hide their faces helps us to identify with them. They are nobody, so they can be anyone, even ourselves. 

Scrolling through Birdee’s website or her Instagram profile, you will notice that in addition to female figures there is also another element that always comes back in her shots, real water. It almost seems as if the graceful bodies of the girls who shoot are transformed in contact with the waves of the sea or a swimming pool. The little bubbles that caress the skin give light and life to the images. 

Discover a selection of Birdee’s photographs below. 

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The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Ana Topoleanu is a Romanian-Mexican photographer who blends elements from her origins into captivating visual narratives. Her journey into photography began as a means to express her thoughts and capture the essence of the world around her, a passion ignited after completing her studies at the University of Sociology in Bucharest. Since then, photography has become more than just a craft for Topoleanu: it is her universal language and preferred form of expression. Inspired by the diverse cultures of Romania and Mexico, Topoleanu’s work invites viewers on a journey of discovery, urging them to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty that exists in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Her photography delves into themes such as the role of women in society, the complexities of motherhood, and the power of human relationships and memories. Today, we discuss “My Pillow”, a project that reflects on memory; let’s see how.

Ana Topoleanu’s My Pillow

One of her most touching projects, “My Pillow,” is a testament to the emotional depth and complexity of her work. The project began during the last years of her grandmother’s life, who accompanied her during her formative years. Topoleanu fondly remembers her grandmother, affectionately called mamaia, as a source of love, guidance, and inspiration. As her grandmother’s health declined, Topoleanu embarked on a photographic journey to preserve the memories of their time together and honor her legacy.

Topoleanu felt that this approach lacked the depth she wanted to convey. Through continuous refinement and introspection, the project evolved into “My Pillow,” a title deeply rooted in memory, representing a poignant moment before her grandmother’s passing. While working on My Pillow, Topoleanu focused on capturing the ephemeral nature of time and the inevitable passage of generations. Each photograph served as an attempt to freeze moments slipping away, reflecting the gradual fading of precious memories and the profound impact of loss.

For Topoleanu, “My Pillow” is more than just a photographic series: it is a labor of love, a tribute to her grandmother, and a reflection of her personal journey through grief and healing. Through her lens, she invites viewers to explore the universal themes of love, loss, and the enduring power of memory.

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Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Summertime Sadness is called Marta Passalacqua‘s photographic project that reveals the sad side of summer. Born almost unconsciously, Passalacqua’s shots place colorful elements in dialogue with desolate settings. Summer has not yet begun, or has just ended. The photographer provides no spatio-temporal indications except for a few clues. A deserted beach with closed umbrellas, then cloths lying in the sun. Or even unlit showers. Human presence never appears but is instead replaced by “objects that smell of saltiness,” placed in a suspended and infinite time that seems to never end. «Summertime Sadness” is the poignant melancholy that catches us, often unprepared, in the middle of a sunny afternoon. It has the flavor of moments already experienced and others still waiting for us, unknown,» reads the curatorial text of Liquida Photofestival in Turin, where Marta Passalacqua will exhibit from May 2 to 5, 2024.

marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al

Courtesy Marta Passalacqua

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Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Giulia Pacciardi · 4 weeks ago · Photography

In her latest series Perspective, the photographer Suzanne Saroff, creates distorted images of colourful food using glass objects and vases filled with water.
Images play with light and shadow, appearing fractured, divided into several parts, shrinking and incredibly distorted.

With tools and techniques such as refraction, directional light and vivid colours, her photographs offer to everyday objects alternative visual paths.
In fact, through shadows and fragmentation, they seem to become something more than what they really are.

Follow her on Instagram to stay up to date on her beautiful photographic project.

Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 1 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 2 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 3 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 4 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 5 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 6 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 7 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 8

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