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A chat with Camilla Riscassi - JaguArt Award

JaguArt is a Road Show between the main cities of Italy.

By Silent Art Explorer

The innovative JaguArt project is born from the dialogue between Artissima and Jaguar Land Rover and from the desire of both to support new talents and their art. The project involves ten Italian cities (Milan, Turin, Brescia, Genoa, Rome, Venice, Florence, Bologna , Naples and Catania) as well as ten Jaguar car dealers, ten contemporary art galleries and ten winners - one for each stage of the Road Show - selected by a jury of exceptional curators, collectors and gallerists.

Finally, the works of the young talented winners become the protagonists of two collective exhibitions, hosted at the Chalet de l'Ange in Courmayeur and the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin (GAM).

Acrimònia wanted to know better the visual artist Camilla Riscassi, winner of the Bologna step of the Road Show with her project Dall’alto nel profondo through an interview conducted by Silent Art Explorer*.

Camilla Riscassi proposes a series of photographs, sourced from photo albums and archives, scanned and superimposed on other images. The result of this technique is a poetic and intimate interpenetration of shapes and colors, resulting in an evocative ensemble that brings back elements of simple and delicate painting.

Camilla’s photography technique goes beyond the reduction of an image in itself, by transforming it into an object that carries with it a part of history and immortalizes an unrepeatable moment in time, in contrast with today's hectic and fast context.

Hello Camilla, first of all tell us about yourself and your career. How did this passion develop? What was it like taking your first steps into the art world?

Hello everyone and first of all thank you for this occasion. The passion for art is something that I carry with me since I was a child, still, the moment I realized I wanted it to be my path was in the last year of high school. The spark between me and contemporary art started following some meetings organized by my high school: I don't know if it was the professor's dialectical skills, the contents or both, but from that moment something changed me.

Thinking back to those moments, in light of this great opportunity that was the JaguArt project, makes me feel really lucky, especially for having met people who wanted to invest a lot in us young artists and believed in our abilities.

As an emerging artist, what were the main challenges you faced or are you facing?

Perhaps the challenge I feel the most is that of keeping myself up to par. The world of art has artists of unrivaled skill, technique and concept, and this causes expectations to rise.

I think it is human nature to compare oneself, partly as a challenge, partly as a stimulus for growth, but a proper balance is necessary. Spoiler: I haven't found it yet.

The dreamlike atmospheres of your work and the technique of overlapping in transparency, transport the viewer on a journey in search of meaning, almost as if there were a precious revelation hidden inside them, waiting to be found... what does this feeling materialize for you?

When composing your works, do you leave hidden narrative cues for the observer?

The idea of ​​a revelation is very fascinating and I feel the concept of “epiphany” is very present both when I get a new idea for a project and when I look at it under a completely new perspective... it is as if there was a violent emergence but, at the same time, a true liberation.

I look for this in my works, in particular in the series Dall’alto nel profondo, not suggesting a univocal or main reading, but that each one experiences his own personal “epiphany”.

Let's talk about your recent success as winner of the 9th stage of JaguArt with Dall’alto nel profondo. This work, like the others resulting from your research, is accompanied and characterized on the aesthetic complex by a strong pictorial feeling, conveyed through the choice of photographic technique as the preferred medium.

Would you like to tell us how these two techniques are connected for you? What message do you hope will be grasped by those who find themselves in front of Dall’alto nel profondo?

Photography is certainly the center of my artistic research, much more than painting, and my relationship with it has changed over time. When I started art high school, I thought I would become a photographer, one of those who continues to print with film, preferably in black and white. Today, I find myself working with those photographs that have undergone the negative printing process, but reworking them digitally, making them perceive as paintings.

What fascinates me about the photographic image is its ability to retain one portion of a story that we observers must complete.

There are photographs stacked in our homes that we can't connect with memory, because we weren't there when they were taken, but they still fascinate us and give them meaning. This is what I would like to happen with the series Dall’alto nel profondo: that the viewer gives his/her own meaning and that, through this gaze, he/she brings out unique details of the image capable of bringing him/her back to personal memory.

Your works appear to be built on the stratification of distant yet coexisting temporal dimensions. How has your perception of time evolved over the course of your artistic and personal training? What are the sources you use to search for the images that become part of your works?

The idea of ​​time was an element that crept into my artistic process silently, let's say that when I became aware of it it was already present in a large part of my works.

I consider myself an extremely nostalgic person, perhaps for the security that the past gives us, something concrete, which we have already experienced and to which we can return with our memory. This form of “nostalgia” is mainly implemented in archive recovery, which gives me the opportunity to look at an object, which has its own history, with new eyes, rereading it in the light of my experiences and giving them a new meaning, which interpenetrates with hers.

Speaking of your relationship with time… do you already have plans for the future? Do you plan to add new mediums to your experimentation?

I have many projects that have started and left pending and many works have a very long gestation time and need the right time to find a conclusion.

Among those that I am currently reworking, there is a project always linked to archive recovery, but this time the medium is the sound one, which is quite different from what I have done so far, so it will be an interesting challenge.

Is there a question that you would like to be asked, but that no one has ever asked you?

What superpower would you like to have?

Great question! So what superpower would you like to have? And what would be the first thing you would do if one day you wake up with this superpower?

The super power I would like is to know the history of an object by touching it.

And if one day I woke up with this power, I think I would go and touch all the objects of a flea market.


*Silent Art Explorer (SAE) is a digital project launched and realized by Giulio Raffaele and Aurora Rossini. SAE aims to facilitate valuable conversations in the contemporary art community, paying particular attention to telling the stories of emerging art talents (including artists whose works are part of Giulio's collection)



Image: Jaguar Land Rover Press Office