The Guestbook: our interview with SIERMOND

The Guestbook: our interview with SIERMOND

Claudia Fuggetti · 1 year ago · Photography

SIERMOND, Pasquale Autorino in real life, defines himself as a visionary of the unconscious. The main sources of inspiration for his works are the mystical images that appear in his mind during sleep and the Freudian instincts of life and death (Eròs and Thanatos) that move spasmodically in his thoughts. Melancholy, romance, darkness and mystery are the elements that characterize his style, along with the predominance of the color silver, used to portray usually beautiful models, which express the artist’s unexpressed narcissistic side.

We at Collater.al asked SIERMOND to tell us about themselves briefly through an interview, which you can find below:

How did you understand that photography would be part of your life?

I started taking pictures in a period of my life that wasn’t very “shiny”. Having a tormented relationship with sleep and dreaming often, I started, almost for fun, to turn these into reality by starting to photograph aesthetics that satisfied my vision. The feeling of happiness I felt when I completed my first projects made me realize that photography could be a very effective way for me to vent. Almost like an addiction, photography invaded my soul and in a short time became my life. My photographic world had a very “artistic” beginning that in this last period I’m managing to bring also in the commercial one. When your passion starts to become also a form of profit you realize that it is the right way. This last step made me realize that photography would be part of my life.

Which artists have influenced you the most?

I’m very influenced by artists from the past. I love trying to bring past atmospheres into the present. An artist that I admire very much and that I also feel very close to me is Man Ray, an American painter, photographer and graphic designer who is an exponent of Dadaism. I like to call his photography “unconscious”. With his revolutionary style he was really able to transform fragments of our soul into images. In my biography on social networks and on my website I call myself “Visionary of the Unconscious” because like Man Ray my art is based on turning something imaginary and deep into reality. The second artist I refer to is Henry Scott Tuke, a painter with a style marked by Impressionism. He is best known for his paintings of young men and boys. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that, thanks to his pictorial style, he was able to capture so much beauty and melancholy in the backs and the nails, making something immortal that is not directly aimed at those who capture the image. Very often in my photography I also love to capture what is most true and reflective in a person who “gives you his back”. I don’t always think eyes and smiles reveal authenticity.

Going to another field, the musical artist who accompanied and accompanies my artistic journey is Lana Del Rey. With her, it was love at first listening. Like a flash of lightning. I think that the theory of “similar souls” was born with her. Her melancholic, dark and romantic mood completely envelops my photography. During long days of postproduction her voice accompanies my creative process. These are three of the artists who influence me the most. I love art in all its forms and I am convinced that art generates other art. To conclude, I mention some names such as Tim Walker, Peter Lindberg, Paolo Roversi, Tamara Dean, Gregory Crewdson, Laura Makabresku who influence my artistic world every day.

Why did you choose to propose these images to us?

I made a careful analysis before proposing these nine photographs to you. I started to look at all my work so far and I thought of choosing nine images that represent me and my vision. the first is called “TWO BOYS”: I chose it because it is the first shot in which I began to see the beginning of my photographic world. For me it represents a lot despite the fact that it was done by pure chance in a field in Switzerland with two boys with a very close and intimate friendship. It’s very representative for me because I had a similar moment with a very dear friend of mine lying in a meadow. The second choice takes up the discussion of “giving one’s back” and how much of infinity there can be in a back. The work is entitled “BOUNDLESS BACK”. It was taken on a day when suddenly, along a mountain road, everything around us has become gray.

The third choice represents my way of seeing the male figure. Ethereal and refined boys. The flowers and the light light of the sunset make “THE LAST NARCISSUS SUNSET” a photo with a magical atmosphere of the past. the fourth is a shot taken from one of my favorite projects “THE BLIND HAZE”. I wanted to represent in this project a crazy and blind love, when the only thing that counts is the body you have next to you. The choice of using two male figures was made to give an even stronger and more significant imprint to the project, while the fifth is based on the concept of dream/nightmare. I often dream of drowning. The location in this case has made everything magical. The rocks taken from this shot seem almost clouds and the photo is invaded by this white white as if they were sheets. “LOOSE DREAMS” is the title of the work. “BLUE” is the title of the sixth photograph. I chose it not only because I find that the light of the very first dawn is magnificent but also for the subject depicted.

In art Nicholas Fols was the natural person who accompanied and accompanied my entire photographic journey. The seventh is a fairly recent shot. I decided to select it because it represents my crazy and creative side. I love photography because it allows you to give a new point of view to anything. the eighth photo is always an excerpt from a very strong and significant project “DAD & SON”. It was nice for me to take pictures of this father and son couple almost as if I were a spectator who sees something of his own in those feelings. Catching every emotion was magical. In addition I think that very often the parent-child relationship is complex to manage especially when the points of view are very different despite the fact that there is a very strong affection. I close my selection with “REBORN”. In this shot I wanted to represent what I call “SIERMOND” (my nickname on social networks). It would be all my artistic and creative side: if it was possible to turn this energy into a person it would look like this. A blindfolded teenager wrapped in this silvery energy and emerging from nature.

What kind of beauty are you looking for?

I look for the beauty of reality. The beauty dirtied by suffering and pain, the beauty of melancholy, elements that contrast with the aesthetic beauty of fashion and landscape create an explosive mix. I would add that the choice of the model represents a fundamental phase for my shots. I tend to prefer models that have aesthetic characteristics similar to mine or that I feel emotionally close to. Therefore selecting a figure that can represent me is not a short or simple process. For me, beauty is a very subjective point of view. I think that for a photographer the choice of the model is really a fundamental part.

What are your plans for the future?

For the future I would like to continue shooting by expanding my range of action, exploring different territories from my path also to create new energies and stimuli. In addition, I hope for an individual growth that can act as a food for my art, making it a stimulus and source of emotion for others.

Follow SIERMOND’s take over on  @Collater.al‘s Instagram profile!

The Guestbook: our interview with SIERMOND
Photography
The Guestbook: our interview with SIERMOND
The Guestbook: our interview with SIERMOND
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How to start an exhibition space? The Église Art experience

How to start an exhibition space? The Église Art experience

Laura Tota · 1 week ago · Photography

When we talk about photography professions, if we were to take a census of the activities related to this world, we would be surprised to discover how prolific the working sector linked to the images is.
Every month, we will ask professionals related to the photography world to tell us the behind the scenes of their jobs: we will discover the joys and sorrows of these contemporary professions and we will give some useful tips to those who want to get closer to this world.

For this first appointment, we asked a few questions to Iole Carollo, one of the Église Art founders, a training place dedicated to photography as well as one of the most evocative exhibition spaces not only in Palermo, but perhaps in all of Italy. As the name suggests, Église Art is in fact hosted inside a seventeenth-century church in the heart of the Kalsa of the Sicilian capital city, a space full of suggestions and specific features that influence and determine in an important way the contents hosted from time to time.

Eglise Art | Collater.al

Giving birth to a space dedicated to photography means, right from the start, defining its aims: this choice, already decisive on its own, will then determine all the activities of the space itself: in the case of Église Art, what was its mission and how have the activities/purposes evolved over time?

Église is an association with social and cultural purposes, founded in 2016 by Alberto Gandolfo, Peppe Tornetta and me, while Simona Scaduto and Michele Vaccaro joined between 2019 and 2021. The initial intentions were to create a place for photography training and an exhibition space. In 2018, in conjunction with the #18Explorations project curated by Benedetta Donato, we decided that Église would become an independent space with the aim of promoting visual culture, through exhibition, training, exchange and collaboration activities with operators and professionals in the sector.

Eglise Art | Collater.al

Palermo is in the Italian imagination (and I would venture to say worldwide) a crossroads of cultures, a melting pot alive of cultural instances that insist, meet and clash on a particularly complex territory. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this enterprise in such a particular city as Palermo? How important is the relationship with the territory in which you live and the other realities that deal with photography?

Palermo is a city rich in history and culture, where people of different origins have lived and have facilitated the exchange and exchange of ideas and solutions that are an added value for anyone approaching Palermo; to this is added the cost of living, still convenient, which translates into sustainable operating costs for spaces like ours.
Over the years we have observed the start of wonderful realities, such as PUSH, Minimum, Baco about Photographs, Maghweb, Booq, small publishing houses, theaters and independent spaces, often managed by artists, and, despite the few readers, libraries where various activities are organized. This aspect confirms the great cultural ferment that characterizes the city.
However, Palermo is a hard city, and this ferment is in fact linked to the growth of individual realities and individuals who live them and to the more or less good relationships that intertwine. Palermo is in fact a crossroads, there are many people who move there, there are many artists who come from all over the world, there are relationships and exchanges useful for everyone, but in the end it is almost mandatory to leave Palermo in order to grow again and again.

But as long as you decide to stay, the relationship with the territory is fundamental, I would say. The network of relationships that are intertwined is the basis of the community system, and this also applies to independent spaces, all of them, beyond the sector of interest.
It is important to expand the social and cultural fabric of reference, networking is useful for things to work, both in the strictly programmatic part and to create new possibilities for themselves.
For us networking is essential, in addition to the collaborations already started as those with Laboratorio Zen Insieme, Block Design and La Bandita, we founded an artistic district, just at the time when the pandemic broke out from Covid – 19 that has slowed and altered relationships.  KAD Kalsa Art District was founded with other independent spaces, cultural operators, artists and curators. In addition, we continue collaborations with photographers/ and, as Mimi Mollica (founder of the Photo Meet London) that for years organizes in the Valle del Belìce of photographic workshops, For 3 years at Église held one dedicated to the city with important guests such as Bruce Gilden and Amber Terranova.

Eglise Art | Collater.al

Managing a space dedicated to photography is certainly a complex process and I suppose it requires constant commitment from those involved. What skills do staff need to have in order to manage a space dedicated to photography in an optimal way?

When you decide to start a space dedicated to culture, before having skills you need to have specific propensities, such as curiosity, an aptitude for research, the ability to work in a team and a strong interest in the sector in which you operate. Skills can be acquired later, but they are necessary, without forgetting that you never stop learning and that it is important to treasure the mistakes you make.
Our group has very diversified skills and interests which also depend on the individual paths, Michele comes from reportage, Simona uses photography as an artistic practice, I am an archaeologist and I am specialized in photographing works and installations, the other two members instead have unrelated jobs to photography, therefore with specific skills related to their sectors.

Being part of Église, we are also cultural operators, organizing and managing activities useful for the promotion and dissemination of culture also includes the management of project management, project production, communication, these activities must be accompanied by the analysis of the context in which it operates. You must always be up to date and able to deepen the issues you face and, therefore, to contextualize them to the time and space that you live in, seizing all the opportunities for exchange and collaboration with other professionals.

Eglise Art | Collater.al

I visited Église Art on several occasions, and I must say that I was almost stunned by the beauty of this place: the possibility of recovering an almost abandoned space, of bringing it back to life and dressing it with culture and art is the dream of anyone working in this field. In addition I think that the extreme architectural complexity is a really interesting challenge for those who deal with photography and cultural planning.
How much does the space of Église affect the curatorial choices of programming, especially considering the exhibition limits and therefore how much the fact that it is not a classic gallery determines the selection of projects?

To date, the spaces of Église are the small seventeenth-century church and the Lab, immediately adjacent to the first one, and both have strong connotations. 
The Lab is in fact a small apartment, with a garden in the back, here we managed to get a space where we can accommodate photographers/ and two other shared, in which are also our open shelf library and the “fanzinoteca” of Zines Palermo, the festival dedicated to the zines of which we are co-founders with Block Design and Lino Ganci. 
The church, instead, is the place dedicated to photographic exhibitions, is a historical place, in which it is necessary to intervene with the restoration and renovation works, the temporary roof is supported by a scaffold of scaffolded tubes, The arch, which divides the main hall from the space that was just behind the altar, has a broken keystone, so it is supported by a security scaffold. The church is a fascinating place, at first glance visually tends to win over what is exposed, but the presence of the scaffolding involves a great work of curatorial and exhibition design. A place is not enough to make a cultural project special, we need a visions and a desire to experiment and this is what we have done in these years. 

Eglise Art | Collater.al

Opening a photographic space is a dream for those who want to pursue their own line of research independently and develop an independent curatorial proposal. But leaving aside the variant of desire and dream and getting closer to the concreteness of reality, what are the factors to take into account when you want to open a space dedicated to photography? What are the factors that should not be underestimated and that perhaps you have underestimated?

The factors to evaluate and take into account are different, all dependent on the road you want to take, always putting yourself in a listening position and ready to change direction if necessary. 
As mentioned before, study and keeping up to date are essential factors, then you need to have patience and willpower to take a slow but functional path to growth. It is necessary to face a series of goals, some easier to achieve, so as to be able to face inevitable frustrations, others more fraught with obstacles, also knowing that many of the results you will achieve will be intangible. You have to focus on what you think is useful and stimulating, without necessarily looking at the name trend. Independent spaces are stimulating places, faithful to themselves but never equal, however they are among the most vulnerable from the economic point of view, because they do not have the economic strength useful for the continuity of planning activities. It is necessary to take into account the economic aspect, we live in a historical period in which money is useful to grow, improve, to be truly independent and, therefore, not to compromise, maintaining a strong identity: it is necessary to invest and reinvest, really, on themselves, on the group and on space.

I believe that one of the factors that is often underestimated is the impact of bureaucracy, but obviously it is applied to every sector of our country, not only in the cultural field. Another factor not to be underestimated is the passing of time: everything changes, macroeconomic factors, society, the people around you, personal and common goals, the tastes of the public and its needs. You have to have a very clear vision and a good dose of intuition to stem the changes.

Eglise Art | Collater.al

Lately, we are witnessing the closure of numerous realities dedicated to art and photography. Often the cause is purely financial.
I therefore ask you: how can a space that is not aimed at selling be economically supported?

In the first years we self-financed, the situation in the long run became unsustainable, so we began to collaborate with other local realities, offering them services and collaborating on funded projects. Unity really makes strength, collaboration and sharing are very important aspects. 
We need to be responsive and find different solutions for individual projects. For some months now, we have also been working with a couple of professionals for the design and implementation of projects, as well as for participation in national and international calls.
Of course, it would be more useful the recognition by the institutions: the pandemic generated widespread discomfort, some spaces have either closed or are going to, we found ourselves discussing what to do, too: financial support would be really important, as is the case of other European countries.

How to start an exhibition space? The Église Art experience
Photography
How to start an exhibition space? The Église Art experience
How to start an exhibition space? The Église Art experience
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Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell

Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell

Tommaso Berra · 6 days ago · Photography

What is pinhole photography? It is an image taken through the photographic process of pinhole photography, a technique that, like most modern cameras, exploits the principle of the camera obscura, but using a small hole as a lens, which creates images through diffraction.
Justin Quinnell is considered one of the leading experts in this technique, both for his almost thirty years as a lecturer worldwide and for his artistic production of experimental photographs.
From Bristol, where he lives, he produces photography using pinhole cameras, creating unusual situations and points of view, thanks to the possibilities of the medium and the deformations of the image.

Among Justin Quinnell’s most bizarre photographic series is the one taken using a smileycam, a camera that the artist places completely inside his own mouth, thus exploiting the power of an unusual and very bizarre point of observation – POV to use a fashionable definition. all of Quinnell’s teeth appear in the frame, which the viewer ends up knowing better than the artist’s own dentist. In addition to the teeth, different subjects are presented from time to time, describing Justin’s daily routine, starting with his toothbrush in the morning, moving on to meals and the cocktail to share in the evening. From the photographer’s mouth we also keep track of his travels, so between an incisor and a canine, St. Mark’s Square in Venice and the Sydney Opera House pop up.

Stenoscopy does not involve any special focusing, which is why the photos look very amateurish. In the past it represented a high point for technology, now, surpassed by much better lenses and lenses, it is used for more experimental and artistic projects, thanks to the possibility of being able to create strange points of view and unpredictable results. Quinnell’s work is a very clear example of this, and if you would like to find out what your mouth sees, you can also find the smileycam here.

Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Justin Quinnell | Collater.al
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
Photography
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
Pinhole photography taken from the mouth by Justin Quinnell
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A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine

A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine

Tommaso Berra · 5 days ago · Photography

For two months, from 1 February to 30 March 2023, in Bologna, the concept studio THE ROOOM will host a new exhibition, curated by Mulieris Magazine.
The title of the project is DREAMTIGERS, a quotation from the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and his extraordinary imagery in which animals play a fundamental role in stimulating memories and imagination.

DREAMTIGERS is an exhibition that uses the imagination through the works of Lula Broglio, Alejandra Hernández, Joanne Leah, Sara Lorusso, Sara Scanderebech, Ayomide Tejuoso (Plantation), together with the installations of The Mosshelter by Marco Cesari. This dimension thus opens up a world of possibilities not only for the mind but also for the representation of what is real.
A fusion, that between the real and the imaginary, which Sigmud Freud defined as the navel of the dream, an undefined place in which it is possible to freely address the themes that have made THE ROOOM and Mulieris Magazine known to the public in recent years. These themes certainly include the condemnation of any form of discrimination and gender equality, addressed over the years through popularisation, wonderful books and very interesting artistic projects that will continue with the Bolognese exhibition.

Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
Mulieris Magazine | Collater.al
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
Photography
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
A new exhibition in Bologna curated by Mulieris Magazine
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Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation

Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation

Tommaso Berra · 6 hours ago · Photography

Karen Navarro’s mixed-media photography is a tool through which the Argentinian artist explores sides of her past, her identity and the causes that led to the definition of certain personal traits shared with an entire people.
The multidisciplinary artist creates photos, collages and sculptures focusing on the theme of belonging, to a physical place and to another of the soul, using portraits and resorting to the use of the written word. All of Navarro’s artistic production is influenced by her being an immigrant (she now works in the United States, in Houston) and descendant of indigenous peoples of South America.

Migration in Karen Navarro’s work is in fact seen as a process of inner transformation, of the formation of a collective identity that reflexively shapes the personal one. The interpretation of the symbols of one’s own culture is present both in the installations but above all in the photographs, in which the subjects stand out precisely thanks to these details, together with the work of image transformation and deconstruction of the work.

Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al

Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro | Collater.al
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
Photography
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
Karen Navarro and migration as identity formation
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