Do you listen/read to contemporary Italian artists of your generation? Or do you prefer to look to the past? Where do you find the inspiration for your videos?
Both. It’s an interesting dance but my work has to be informed by the film and photo work that has come before me but a huge amount of my practice is also looking to my contemporaries and seeing everything happening around me. I think in terms of sensibilities, a way of seeing and visual language I relate more to work made in previous generations but because so much of my job is making work for contemporary commercial clients, it’s fundamental to my practice to know about all of the work happening around me as well. The way I consume the two is different though, by the nature of where the work lives. When looking to the past, I have to scour Criterion, Mubi, or other film archives to see the films I’m curious about or spend hours in a photobook shop or library to see things I haven’t seen. To consume a lot of the artists of the present, they appear amidst restaurants, news sources and magazines in the feed of my instagram and are accessible by scrolling through an app at any time of day.
Do you feel a special connection to the South?
I love the south. I love the north too but I’m an open person, want to talk to strangers, meet people and my work is also indirectly the result of this. It’s way easier to do this in the south where you are met with hospitality and warmth then a defensiveness I’ve found approaching strangers in the north. I mention this often but I connect with people who have warmer weather year round, who live by the sea — of course there are places in Liguria but it’s really cities like Bari, Napoli, Barcelona and Marseille where you find people lying in the beach up to November, eating outside, and following the rhythm of the sun and water.
Some people have talked about the “fetishisation of the Mediterranean”, referring to the aesthetic of videos and photographs similar to yours. What do you think about this? What are the driving forces behind your work?