Opening reception: Tonight-April 4th 2013 from 6pm-9 pm
24-20 Jackson Ave, 3rd Floor
LIC Queens 11103
E, G, M, 7 to Court Square (near MoMA PS1)
Alessandro Teoldi an Italian artist that is based in New York. He received his BA in Photography from IED in Milan, Italy, and currently graduating with MFA from ICP-Bard College. Tonight Teoldi is having a solo show at ICP-Bard MFA Studio Gallery. Before attending a program he worked for a couple of years as an Assistant-Director for a contemporary art gallery in Milan, Italy. He describes his work as “a neat accumulation of unfinished fragments”. He is trying to push the boundaries of photographic media “by taking apart a photograph in multiple fragments and then rearranging them, I want to push my viewers to do a private exercise of re-composition.” Teoldi’s work explores “how we perceive images, … the shift that happens when we realize that what we look at has become something very different from its initial appearance.” He is obsessed with “analyzing the space between the original impulse and its physical materialization. It’s a linear process, a timeless transformation that takes place from my brain to my mouth, from a memory to a photograph, from a negative to a piece of paper.”
How did you first come to think about photography? Why photography?
Initially I wanted to start painting. I’ve always been attracted to painting, but I never had the patience that painting requires. I love the physical aspect of classical art practices. But the camera has the great advantage of immediacy and I like to think that somehow I can include the material aspect of painting and sculpture into my practice of photography.
Which artist/photographer inspired you?
That is always been a difficult question for me. I’ve never been able to define my influences. How can you define one artist or photographer who has been crucial for your practice? I don’t think I have just one. I realize that last year I was so different from what I am today. What inspired me when I first took a picture ten years ago is now dramatically different. I guess this relativism and differences of perspective are probably the main points of my entire work. Nowadays I find myself thinking a lot about Matisse’s exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. It’s titled In Search of True Painting. It’s a great title for me. The show is all about juxtaposition, materials and artistic process; all things I am lately very interested in. Another great inspiration in the past months has been After Life, a Japanese movie by Hirokazu Koreeda and Bertrand Russel’s The Problems of Philosophy.
Why New York? Why MFA?
Italy is a great country but its universities are very traditional. Liberal Arts Academies have excellent painting and sculpture programs but photography is something that they have not yet approached, at least in its more broad potential. Milan is the city of design and fashion and so the few photography programs over there consider the commercial and fashion nature of the camera. I studied a lot of lighting and studio photography, with a very technical method. That’s also why I decided to move to New York. Although that technical preparation was necessary and very useful for the development of my work, I was looking for something more open and free. I wanted to study what role photography has played within art history and to do so I couldn’t stay there. Why New York? Because from Milan, the US is extreme in terms of geographical distance and cultural difference. And I think that migration leads to transformation, something indispensable for any artistic growth.
Your perspective of the art world changed over time? If yes why?
My perspective of everything changes over time. I’m not sure about anything. Or better yet, I’m sure just for a few moments but then I change my mind, returning everything to a point of discussion again. The art world is not an exception in this sense.
You are going to have a show tonight. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I see this show as the presentation of a work in progress that has started since I arrived in the US. It’s not something complete or finished. The show contains work I made years ago as well as photographs I took during the last winter break. Since last summer I began to think and work on some photographic aspects I was excited about: materiality first of all, but also memory, perception, language, colors and scale. Each piece in the show engages these ideas in one way or another. There is also a sculptural aspect in the exhibition that reflects my interest in how photography can live together with other kinds of artistic practices.
Why you choose this title “I Can No Longer Recognize My Voice”?
Do you know when you repeat a word aloud over and over again and it loses its meaning? You cannot recognize what you are saying anymore. The disorienting feeling that is inherent in the idea of scale. The way we approach the too big or too small. Dislocation and language are pretty central in my show.
How you see yourself in future?
I will stay in the US as long as I can but I see myself coming back to Europe at a certain point.
The interview was conducted by Marina Leybishkis