Interview: Antonella De Sarno
Luca Curci talks with Antonella De Sarno during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at The ROOM Contemporary Art Space and Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Educated as a philosopher and art historian at the University of Bologna, Antonella De Sarno is a performer and visual artist. She comes to the visual and performing arts from theater after having trained and worked with Pippo Delbono for ten years. Meanwhile, she studied with several choreographers and visuals artists in Italy and France, where she is currently based. She completed a certified training in Sensible Dance® (complete somatic technique) with Claude Coldy, plus she deepened her approach to movement and on-stage presence, making it more insightful and high-quality, with Raffaella Giordano and Benoît Lachambre. From 2016 she has been a resident host for research and creation at Les Deux Iles Residence pour artistes in Montbazon (France), where she works on her projects. The roots of her artistic research come from a peculiar relationship developed with her own body since when she was a child. An element carrying specific importance in her biography due to accidents and medical errors, her body was a place for crystalized fear and pain at first, then later, through time, it became a privileged space for experience and knowledge, a field of investigation and finally of work. His latest project Faces from the dark/towards the light was reported at the Combat Award 2020 in the sculpture and installations section. Her works are born out of an uninterrupted dialogue between the shaping of internal space as it is perceived and the weaving of threads that meet to create structures of sense in the external, collective and social space. The staging of relationship strategies between space, objects and bodies, the essence of the intimate and the social observed and put on stage with a subtle touch, are at the center of her work.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Antonella De Sarno – I am working on finalizing an exhibition on the idea of deformity as a canon of more human beauty. I am exploring a form that deforms in movement to express an inner state of being. I will be exhibiting figures on paper cut out and stapled into entomological boxes as curiosities, bizarre insects and large formats of these figures taken to their own paroxysm.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
ADS – After my university studies in Aesthetics and Art History, I studied contemporary dance and theater with various teachers. I worked for an important theater company for a few years after training with them. But I have always drawn to focus on my own ideas and feelings. I am self-taught in the field of visual arts which I have developed more particularly in recent years.
LC – What is your creative process like?
ADS – My work is polymorphic, I work on an idea or theme that is close to my heart and I develop it using different media: performance, installation, video or pictorial and graphic works. Depending on the idea I want to develop I find the medium that best suits it. It’s a long-term work that can be articulated in different projects. There is a nucleus that then develops organically according to the expressive needs it takes and the context in which it is created.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
ADS – It’s a path that you don’t choose, it chooses you and you can’t escape much. This is not easy, you can’t pretend you don’t feel the need to be an artist. The current context is exciting and attractive because the technical means allow you to use a variety of techniques that give rise to an equally potential variety of languages and great freedom, on the other hand, everything is so easy that you risk falling into the banal. You have accessibility and potentially a possibility of visibility that is more open than it used to be, thanks to social networks and the global visibility they offer, but this very ease trivializes the context in which you present a work with the risk that it loses the dimension of depth that led you to create that artwork. The risk is that the fact of being seen comes first, rather than the quality of the work you do, and this penalizes an enormous number of talented artists who live in the shadows.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
ADS – The body! The body as a receptacle of the infinity of human potential, of the beauty and power of the human figure, of sensoriality as a way of knowing the subtle and invisible spheres of our relationship to the world. All the richness of our experience as human beings resides in our bodies. For me, it is not only the object of investigation that almost always returns in my work, but my body as I create is the object of attention and care. If I am not in a certain relationship with my body nothing good comes out.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you? 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?
ADS – I took part in Borders in October in Venice with Writing for a rope, a video-performance in which I explored the limits between outside and inside, understood as spatial concepts, the outside, in nature, in the city, and the inside, the space of the four walls. And what I was looking for was writing through the symbolic object of the rope that binds and acts as a thread between the outside and the inside as symbolic spaces of our feeling beyond their spatial valence. I read the festival theme in this way.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP? Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
ADS – I found a lot of professionalism, dynamism and very nice people working for the festival.