Interview: Loredana Denicola

Loredana DenicolaImage courtesy of Loredana Denicola

Interview: Loredana Denicola

Luca Curci talks with Loredana Denicola during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH in Venice.
Loredana Denicola took a degree in ‘Economics’ spending time working in the corporate world before moving to London in 2010. In London, at the University of the Arts, Central St Martins College she graduated with a certificate of ‘photographic professional practice’. Then, she completed her training in the rough and tumble school of professional freelance press photography and as a paparazzi, for three years. In 2014 the camera became a necessity of exploration, to make what is invisible to the eye, visible; an urge of discovery of her own self through connection, conversations with strangers, met online or on the street, a dig deep inside the human nature. She began to be interested in ways of thinking, feeling and acting, which us as human tend to have naturally, but that sometimes we don’t express and repress causing pain and dis-comfort within and outside ourselves. Photography then, the ‘act of ‘using the camera‘, becomes almost a ‘performative act ‘ where art is realised exactly at the “moment” of encounter with another human being and the photographs produced are a merely documentation of that encounter. The observer becoming the observed, the mirror becoming the person reflected. Her art practice is an investigation into the power of trust in human relationships.

 

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Luca Curci – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?

Loredana Denicola – The theme of the festival was – the Labyrinth – an invitation for artists to analyse their inner path and their artistic career, searching their identity as artists and as human beings. The Video ‘Do you love yourself?’ that I exhibited, is the final step of a project called ‘Love, Sex & Relationships’. It is a journey through my inner self, a raw monologue, where I try to understand where love is, what is sex, what relationships are in today era. The project began in July 2015, while I was in abusive relationship lasted nine months. At the end of the project, the intrinsic process becomes a therapeutic tool. I discovered my worth, the importance of loving myself. To get there, I interviewed 27 people, including my mother, my father and my ex boyfriend; I entered an intimate space made of memories, secrets, confessions, thoughts and feelings. I discovered that what I was missing was the love for myself. ‘Do you love yourself?’ it is me, completely naked as a human being and as artist, it is my personal journey through the labyrinth of my ‘mental structure’ and my feelings. At the same time I am always hopeful that my personal work will have a transforming effect on other people’s life in a positive way. That they become more in touch with themselves and they can find places within their minds that they have never visited before. Has all of our suffering to do with our unconscious ʻmental structure’ that we build since we are born? Do we really listening to ourselves? What is love? Who are we? Do we really love ourselves? This project was extraordinary because made me fall in love with myself, made me discovering how my mind lies to me, It made me go through all my past, all my darkness, all my fears, all my lack of love for myself and made me understand how much we struggle in life when we don’t love ourselves. Love is the essence of life, it is why we are here on this planet, we are born to be love and to love…Love is the cure of everything. The labyrinth is the interior conflict that most of us carry on between ourselves. Fears make us dependent of things (why we buy), people (why we love) and feelings (who we are). Most of us are trapped in our cages/body/mind/relationship/society without being aware and to most of us this is acceptable. We accept. Exploration of our labyrinth give us a chance to free ourselves from our unconscious ‘mental structure’, it is a way out from the pain that has been inflicted to us since we were born. If we want to love freely we need to demolish or unlearn all those certainties that someone else (society, parents, education, religion….) has carved into us, during our existence… Most of us attaching ourselves to Love like a magnet, for desperation to not be left alone. Because let’s admit, we don’t want to be alone. ‘Be In control of yourself, in a way that not thoughts, no feelings can sabotage you. Be love’ – once someone told me. Do you love yourself?

 

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L.C. – What are you currently working on?

L.D. – Currently I am working on two photography – videos projects: one is called ’Love, Sex & Relationships’, that includes a video of 6 hours of documentation, where I interviewed 27 people and collected 40 hours of interviews asking questions about love, sex and relationship, plus I am producing a book that will be published (part of the same project). It is a very challenging project, started two years ago and still working in progress. The second project is called ‘The Theatre of the Mind’ – where I explore themes like what is a mind? What is a theatre? And what is imagination? Here I also interviewed 7 people and I am working on a printed magazine that will soon be realised. Both projects are an exploration of my own self through conversations with others, exploration of inner worlds, where emotions and thoughts are contained. They are not tangible, but they exist and create unconsciously our own reality, our own happiness, our own pain. Our hopes, ambitions, secrets, memories and imaginations, fears and uncertainties and all our sensations, attractions, desires, aversions, love and hate, belong to the impalpable, but real world of being…and that is where my exploration is going.

 

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L.C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?

L.D. – Yes, I think so. They focus on exploration of what it means to be a ‘human being’. Who we are, and where we are in our personal evolution. My art practice is an investigation into the power of trust in human relationships. I believe that photography is healing practice. It gives me the power to question everything; who I am, what I think, what I feel, my education, society & religion to name but a few. I think the primary goal of my pictures is to challenge and inspire myself and to expand my own knowledge. At the same time I hope to inspire others with my work, to go outside their comfort zone and explore their self, their darkness, their limitations, their worth.

 

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L.C.- How is being an artist nowadays?

L.D. – Being an artist nowadays it is scary and very challenging. It requires courage and willing to work hard, being the best version of yourself, not only spending time producing art, but also be able to have a web presence, become a social media expert and sell who you are. The artist nowadays is also an entrepreneur. If we want to be an artist now, being creative isn’t enough. We have to learn new skills we never wanted to have, because the time we used to spend making art will now be swallowed up by endless tasks of marketing ourselves in a world of seven billions voices, all shouting at once. At the same time I want to believe that making art is more important than a market. I always thought at my art as a discussion starter, as a means of reaching out to other people and affecting their lives offering a unique perspective, trying of helping others to see things in new and different ways, to question everything we see, we touch, we feel, we have been told, we have learned, we have been taught, what is love, culture, religion, society, money, politics, economics, love, wars, relationship, sex, thoughts, emotions, life, ourselves, and what is our role in all of this.

 

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L.C.- What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

L.D. – I think the most challenging part of my artwork is create a genuine connection with people, be able to get honestly inside their inner world, be a friend instead of a photographer and let them open and express themselves freely, going outside their comfort zone and let them be who they really are, without any fears. Being able to create with them something unique. This connection sometimes makes me lose the technical part of photography, as I find myself in situation difficult to manage. Traditionally, a photographer will search for telling images of his or her subject. My approach is rather, to discover how the subjects of my project might portray themselves. Who am I to represent them?

 

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L.C. – What’s the art tip you usually receive? Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?

L.D. – The best art tip is- “keep going because your work is strong, and has a big voice” – or – “ it is full of energy but also grotesque” – or – ‘why do you take pictures of naked people and where you find your subjects?”…or – ‘what are you expressing through your art, because I don’t understand’. Sometimes I receive kind messages like – “There is a delicacy and very much a feeling of something real but it’s more than that, it leaves you wondering and asking questions’…. and I am happy knowing that I can touch some people, even if it is only one person I am happy. Yes, I would say visitors enrich myself and my art. There is always something to learn. I always ask for critiques, I think it is important for a personal and artistic growth. It is good listen to another point of view, it makes you became a better person – it makes me see things differently, looking at my work as an observer of the observed.

 

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L.C. – What is your creative process like?

L.D. – The creative process is born as an action, as doing, like an irrepressible desire to do.Without thought processing. It comes from life experiences that I live and that touched me on a deeply level: episodes that I want to explore and understand; it can be a broken relationship, exploration of identity, a breakdown, why something happened, or simply to understand some topic that I find hard to accept and I would love to explore more. Sometimes it comes out from pain and photography is used as a healing process, sort of alchemy, able to transform pain in light through the process of ‘humans connection’. The creative process lived through photography becomes a personal life experience: a sort of self –analysis but also a reflection of yourself in the mirror of humanity.

 

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L.C. – Do you think ITS LIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?

L.D. – I think that Its Liquid Group is an extraordinary opportunity for showing personal work to the world, both online and physical, and let people knowing who we are and what we do. I was selected to exhibit my work at palazzo Ca’ Zanardi in Venice, in March- taking part to ‘Liquid Rooms – the Labyrinth’ call for Artists. I also love the themes that ITS LIQUID GROUP presents as they are very personal and deep, a sort of exploration within ourselves. Themes like oxygen, the labyrinth, the body language, self-identities, visions…..etc… are a journey through our inner self. When I took part, I found the ‘labyrinth’ theme very exciting and close to what my personal research is about, the analysis of my inner path as a human being and artist, I found captivating and I thought to apply. It was a pleasure to be part of such a beautiful experience. I would advice other artists to take part.

 

more. www.loredanadenicola.com

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