Interview: Nithya Guthikonda
Luca Curci talks with Nithya Guthikonda during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Nithya is a photographer from Atlanta, Georgia and currently studies at The Westminster Schools. She is particularly interested in conveying narrative through photography and creative writing. She has been taking pictures for 10 years with her Nikon D700. Her works have been recognized by the Aint-Bad Magazine and the ITSLIQUID GROUP, among other organizations.
Luca Curci – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
Nithya Guthikonda – Because photography can be such a subjective thing, I believe a good photo speaks to all audiences. The power of a good photo is that anyone is able to process and internalize the photo in their own way. In this project, I focus on a concept everyone is familiar with during this time: quarantine. Using raw, candid photos I hope to bring out a sense of liberty, but also nausea within the viewer. I believe freedom and liberation also come with the idea of uncovering truths, those which may be uncomfortable and even disturbing. I focus on creating a balance, or imbalance rather, of the physical and the abstract: real moments challenging an underlying emotional upset.
LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
NG – For my photography projects, I strive to combine personal elements with the events and scenery around me. I believe each place or concrete thing has an inner identity, and I try to find intimate meaning with each inanimate being. For my project Quarantine Summer, I chose photos that capture concrete moments and paired them with poems about my inner thoughts and emotions, because I think together, they best convey my relationship with “quarantine”.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
NG – The overarching theme of Quarantine Summer is the word “quarantine”. In my project, I attempt to give a personal identity to this word, merging the definition of quarantine with my own journey through it. The series explores ideas similar to those of a coming-of-age story, such as liberty, realization, and the nausea of change.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
NG – My style of photography is constantly evolving, and I have been trying different styles of photography, as well as different methods of communication i.e., photojournalism, memoir, photo essays. I have different goals for each project I do; recently, I have been working on combining photography and poetry, but I have also been exploring portrait and fashion photography!
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
NG – I am still a student in school, so setting aside time to work on my hobbies, such as photography, is a challenge. I take pictures when I can, but the more important process to me is weeding through the shots to find the perfect ones and then compiling them into a cohesive series with a specific theme. In the future, I hope to take classes in photography and writing, but I haven’t yet considered art as a career choice.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
NG – “Quarantine Summer” is a series of 18 panels that takes the viewer through my experiences and emotions during the summer of 2020. I felt that period of isolation changed me and my life more than I could have imagined, as it did for many, many people. Through my project, I hope to give others insight and a chance to reflect on their own experiences with quarantine. But on a personal level, “Quarantine Summer” is acknowledgement and a confession to a part of my life that I would in the future hope to -yet shouldn’t- forget.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
NG – The Body Language is an exhibition that aims to explore our consciousness and the transformation of the human race and the human body. I love this theme, as it is especially relevant now. I believe “Quarantine Summer” fits with the vision of this festival, as it analyzes emotions and moments during a period in time that challenges the very inherence of humans.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists? Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
NG – Being represented by ITSLIQUID GROUP has been an amazing opportunity for me, they have chosen a wide spectrum of artworks to represent, which I respect. I am grateful to have been able to exhibit my project in Venice and work with a well-connected and supportive group. My works were set up and presented exactly how I envisioned them to be.