Supporto per Immagine // Simona Luchian

Simona Luchian (1989) is an italian artist who live and work in Auckland, New Zeland.

Giangiacomo Cirla: We saw your work “Support for Image” exposed at MACRO (Roma) during the Talent Prize 2016, can you tell us something about the project?

Simona Luchian: The photograph “Support for Image” [#1] is part of an ongoing project which started in 2015, which consists of the construction of installations which are placed in specific sites, photographed and – in the end – destroyed. I believe that through photography it is possible to give new life and identity to the sculpture: it is placed in a specific site that is not only a background or context, but actually becomes essential to the identity of the final image. Indeed, the final shot captures and reveals a special relationship between the sculpture and the space in which it is situated – a kind of hypothetical parallel world. Without the photography it would be impossible to perceive that relationship and the world it reveals.

Each installation is composed of a few elements (principally wood and white cement) which function as a ‘support’ for printed images on paper: the materials hold up the images on paper as if they were living entities in need of reinforcement and support. The theme of the printed images is vegetation and nature more generally which transmit an “Edenic” and idyllic mood. These images “supported” within the installation therefore live on a symbolic and metaphorical level.

 

G: Why the choice to work both with sculpture and photography in a single work?

S: Photography has always been my principal medium, although I’m not a pure photographer. I visualize my practice as a system in which photography comes first, fast enough to capture insights from external reality but not deep enough to complete the entire mechanism; therefore, I need to be able to further model the image with other mediums, but this time working in direct contact with the materials. Undoubtedly, this stems from my desire to create things with my own hands – I have always enjoyed being in direct contact with objects. At the same time, I wouldn’t consider myself a sculptor, because I would never create sculptures to be exhibited. I’m a hybrid – photographer, sculptor yet neither one completely.

G: You were born and raised in Italy and now you live in New Zealand, how much your work feel and reflect the place where you live and how your Italian background help you?
S: My work certainly reflects the amazing place where I live now. Indeed, my choice to come here came from a strong desire to be close to wild and untouched nature, still unspoiled by human traces. The environment where I live and work is very important, even though I believe my ideas come from me alone – the place where I am just draws them out of me. My Italian background is undoubtedly very influential in my work. My past experiences – such as my MA in photography at Brera Academy and my previous job as an artists’ assistant – have been essential to my development and vision as an artist and my correspondence with Italy is open and constant.
G: How this project will go ahead and what are your plans for the future?

S: this project “Support for Image” is currently in progress. At the moment I am working on a new “New Zealand sequence” which will become part of the project. The title of the sequence is “Umbilical cords”: it consists of building installations using printed pictures and white cement cords that connect the pictures to each other. In this way the umbilical cords function like connecting supports which feed the images. The images that I have chosen are photos of ferns, an important symbol in New Zealand, and rich in many meanings.

At the beginning of 2017 I will take part in two residency programs, where I will have the possibility to build a large installation in the middle of the forest; in my imagination the forest will be a big “womb” where pictures “live” connected by umbilical cords, as if they were one living being.
After that, I hope to continue my practice in many other places in the world, finding other interesting contexts where I can create photographic traces of non-existent sculptures.

Instagram: simona.luchian

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