The passion for photography has proved how far it can take you in the world of art, and Serena Biagini herself is a burning proof of that. Even the bound life of lockdowns and pandemics was not able to put a barrier in front of her for so long. She broke it all and created the tale that narrates the world through her stellar images. Here is an insightful chat session with this highly talented 38 years old Italian photographer and artist who is creating a storm in the world of photography:
Q: So, Serena, how did you come to photography, and what was the inspiration that led you to your today’s position where you are now?
A: My approach to photography was more casual and self-taught. I would like to say that when I was 5 years old, during Christmas, I asked my father to give me a Polaroid Supercolor 635 as a Christmas gift. It attracted me very much because it could give immediacy and instant visible results.
Since then, I have always had a camera to accompany me for those events which were very important to me, such as birthdays, school trips, family moments, holidays. In 2004 I started taking seriously the study of the functioning of a camera (initially a fuji) to experiment and to explore my feelings more about photography to use it as a tool of expression. With the advent of the trend of digital photography, I decided to abandon analog photography. I abandoned it for better convenience and printing the photographs of great interest. But after 2016, I again started shooting with my old Polaroid camera to explore a much more conscious and mature approach. From that moment, my work turned into a combination of digital and instant photography.
In 2014 I realized what I wanted to shoot and the subjects which are of my interest for portraying. Between the ups and downs and in each of my growth processes, I continued with much growth. I kept on experimenting with new and innovative techniques and better and new means for expression.
Q: What is the source of your inspiration? Do you follow up or get a reference point from any of the artists or photographers?
A: I have great respect and admiration for Paolo Roversi. I just love the way he makes use of the light in a very skillful and creative way. Both of his old Polaroid works and current photographs are just wonderful. I recently got the chance to visit his personal exhibition “Studio Luce“. It has been curated by Chiara Bardelli Nonino at the MAR in Ravenna, and I was delighted.
Also, I like other photographers like Francesca Woodman, Man Ray, Sarah Moon, Luigi Ghirri, Paolo Ventura. I found it simply wonderful about the atmosphere of the Polaroids that the director Andrej Tarkovskij left for us. Also, I look up to the inspirations from cinema and particularly from David Lynch, who is my favorite director. I also get inspiration from sculptures, paintings, and the performance arts.
Q: For the Paratissima you are featuring in the “Please, Stay Home ” section. Can you tell us something about the shots which we can see on the show?
A: The project on which I am exhibiting at the Paratissima is, “ I Wish”. The idea stems out from the time of lockdown when I felt that I must stay connected with the outside world for better positivity. During the first few days of the lockdown, uncertainty came. At that time, I proposed a survey on Instagram to my followers while I asked them what would be the first thing they would prefer to do after the end of the lockdown.
I received a lot of responses which I have divided into macro themes until I selected some of the phrases that startled me most. From my archive, hoc images, and family photos, I tried to represent my compositions. The final result will be available in the exhibition. It is a series of diptychs which is made of the phrases proposed by the users. Also, it is typed out with an old Olivetti, and the photographs I have created will represent it.
Q: Is there a photograph of yours with which you are most attached?
A: I am not attached to a single photograph, but there is a series of mine, called “The Nest“. It depicts a woman who is defenseless and naked, moving performatively in a nest built of dry branches. I clicked these images in 2014. But, it was only in the last year when I got the opportunity to take the work again. The work after that became real to me that the service is in its dramatic form. It is within a boundary which is like a house and a prison that takes a new and profound meaning. It is also quite different from what I initially thought about it. Reworking on this series was great for me.
Q: You often focus on young women in your photographs. What is your perspective on femininity, and what aspect of it do you want to portray through your photography?
A: Femininity for me is being aware of the love you have for yourself. It also means, being able to express it through a part of yourself, even unconsciously. A much imperceptible movement in the expression of the face and the movement of the body with the look and details strive for the spontaneous beauty of theirs.
In my clicks, I try to tell the story, which the model plays through her poses. I aim to capture the true essence of the nuances of love. This is why I try to establish a dialogue with the girls during each of my work sessions and to bring out their intimate confidence, which I want to immortalize.
Do not forget to follow her on Instagram- Serena_Biagini