GENOA.- Made during an artist's residence on the Adriatic coast in 2014, this work was commissioned by the Bellaria Film Festival and tells of family memories.
Valentina Vannicola narrates that one morning in September 1991, her paternal grandparents took wenrt on a boat trip off the coast of Rimini, directed where twenty-two years before the Italian State had bombed a platform in the middle of the sea, designed and declared independent by a Bolognese engineer and called Isola delle Rose (island of the roses).
It is during that journey that Valentina's grandfather sees something offshore and, convinced that it is a small island, communicates it to the men on board, who totally deny it.
The images of Riviere tell of the Isola delle Rose, of the photographer's grandfather belief in its existence and of that thin line between reality and fantasy, that can turn into obsession.
Valentina's work can be inserted into the realm of staged photography, that area of contemporary photography that presents itself as a mise en scene capable of creating a sort of tableau vivant, where the protagonists of her images are non-professional actors and are chosen by the photograper within the community where she works for a specific project.
Her artistic research usually stems from the visual reading of a text, be it literary, poetic or narrative - rendered through suggestions and re-worked thanks to the cinematographic background of her University years - through the creation of sets in which to move its protagonists. Her sets are meticulously thought out and prepared, they show a temporal suspension, capable of making the story oneiric and sometimes ironic.
Riviere is divided into two sections that include images above and below the surface of the sea.
The first section show landscapes lost in the light of the cold and desaturated colors, where the figures seem lost in time, waiting for some one else's action, like motioneless actors before the clapperboard action call. Delicate images that tell us about the presence in the absence, in an attempt to establish the boundary between reality and fantasy of that story of her grandfather and in the effort to understand how right he could have been.
But the truth is a different story as the photographs under the sea reveal; where opposite for color and presence, from the shades of night animals or imaginative creatures appear, as to underline that the search for truth here, lies some where else.
Riviere is made up of 14 images printed in a limited edition printed in different formats
Giclée prints on Fine Art Hahnemuhle photo Rag Satin paper mounted on di-bond and frame.
After a degree in Filmology at La Sapienza University of Rome, Valentina Vannicola studied for her diploma in photography at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia. Her images are strongly influenced by cinema and literature. Her work has been exhibited in several galleries and photo Festival, such as: Italian Cultural Institute and Head On Photo Festival, Sydney, Australia; Bellaria Film Festival, Italy; Espace André Malraux Herblay, France; Italian Institute of culture of Melbourne; Gallery Central in Perth; Festival Circulation(s) in Paris; Vedere Multiverso, installation for Vision Lab/ Triennale di Milano at Mediateca di S. Teresa; Arte FieraBologna; Padova Fotografia; Vienna Fair in Vienna; Wuderkammern gallery in Rome; Urban Center of Rovereto; Mia Art Fair, Milan; CiternaFotografia-Festival; Triennale of Milano; FotografiaFestival at MACRO (contemporary art museum of Rome); Italian Center of Photography in Bibbiena; Auditorium of Rome; S.t. gallery in Rome.
In 2011 she published the book L'Inferno di Dante with Postcart, curated by Benedetta Cestelli Guidi. She worked for OnOff Pictures Agency until 2014. Her photos have been published in dailies, periodicals and books. Her publications include L'Espresso, D di Repubblica, Philosophie, Il Manifesto, Insidart and Aracne.