IGOR PONTI

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PLEASE, INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?

Artistically speaking, I come from a typical applied arts swiss mind set. I studied graphic, composition, model making, drawing and photography. During the photography studies in Milan, I developed an interest for a certain photographic area, very similar to renaissance painting and landscape in particular. Later, the influences of the Dusseldorf School and American tradition arouse in me a strong attraction and made me elaborate on.

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE PHOTOGRAPHY AS YOUR EXPRESSION MEDIA?

It ain't clear to me yet how I got into photography. My first desire was to study painting at the academy, I've always been fascinated by flemish renaissance painters and I used to imagine myself as a painter.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO USE A VIEW CAMERA? NOW THAT DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWS TO INSTANTLY PRODUCE AN IMAGE AND IMMEDIATELY JUDGE THE RESULTS, WHAT BENEFITS YOU GET FROM SUCH A SLOW AND COMPLEX WORKFLOW?

Digital vs film is an endless debate that usually drives to nowhere. As for me, I work with the best tools that I can have for what I have to do. Everything I use is functional for what I want to create, it reflects the way I work, both temperamentally and physically. I've never been that type of photographer who always brings a camera with him, I don't shoot compulsively and I don’t feel the need to document everything I see. Rapidity is not something I need.

SO YOU DON'T LIVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC ACTIVITY IN A DÉFORMATION PROFESSIONNELLE WAY? HAVE YOU EVER FELT THE NEED TO TAKE A PHOTO BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU?

It happened that I was attracted by something I saw I and couldn't take a photo of it but I've never lived this kind of situation with a sense of frustration. Conversely, I think it's more interesting and useful to mentally record an image without taking a picture, I'm sure it will enrich my imagination, creativity and understanding of what fascinates me.

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HOW DO YOU DEVELOPE YOUR PROJECTS? DO THEY SIMPLY COME FROM A PERSONAL ANALYSIS OR THEY ALWAYS HAVE THE GOAL TO BRING A MESSAGE?

They mostly originate from an intuition that arouse in my head, a creative voice that I alway try cultivate. The intuitions are our background's childs in a larger sense, they come up from our reads, the people we hang out with, the environment around us, the studies, the education. As for the messages that artworks may enclose, I'm sure that they're already internalised by the people who stop to see. An artwork is the expression of whom created it and live by the reflection of observers. I also think that it lets emerge our inner feelings in a different way everytime.

I think it’s more interesting and useful to mentally record an image without taking a picture, I’m sure it will enrich my imagination, creativity and understanding of what fascinates me

THE PHOTOGRAPHY, USED AS A DOCUMENT, BECOMES A DISCLOSURE ELEMENT. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO "EDUCATE" (OR INFORM) THE AUDIENCE AND MAKE THEM PONDER ON A CERTAIN ARGUMENT?

This may be another endless debate. I think It all depends on the words used to define the photographic process. "Photography" is a complex series of definitions bound to many factors, just think about the workflow occurring from pre-shoot to its diffusion. I think that if you want to "educate", you have to spend a lot of time understanding the image and all the phases it went through. After that everyone will have the tools to "read" and understand what's in front of him. The audience have to learn by itself, in order to be able to debate [on something].

LET'S TALK ABOUT TERRITORY, THE LEADING ELEMENT IN YOUR SHOTS. WHAT DOES THIS WORD MEAN AND REPRESENT TO YOU?

It is something I tend to deal with lately, when I am planning a new project. I have a romantic definition to use as an answer whenever I am looking for new subjects: the addition of the geological evolution and the history of the man represent the territory as a result. This means it is changing and it is historically linked to these two factors. What I do with my work is to define how and when one influences the other one the most. My pictures are my personal conceited idea of an equation that can generate infinite variables.

DO YOU FIND ANY DIFFERENCE WHEN WORKING IN A TERRITORY THAT IS FAR FROM THE ONE YOU COME FROM?

Personally, the only difference I encountered, which is also the most difficult to solve, is the time. I mean the time that it takes to be physically in a new territory and understand its dynamics, at least the fundamental ones to start developing a new project with consistency. I feel very close to anthropology and participating observation and I need time for that. Working in my territory, I have the benefit to be physically here, so the analysis process is also done by osmosis effect. I am planning to do works abroad, where there are situations that fascinate me and part of this is represented by the organization of the time. On the other side, the initial researches I do for any new project can be done everywhere.

HOW DO YOU RELATE WITH YOUR SUBJECTS (PEOPLE OR LANDSCAPE)? HOW DO YOU SELECT THEM AND WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR?

First, I do something very trivial: I write down a checklist of everything that comes to my mind when thinking to the concept on a large scale. Everything that can be helpful as a reflection tip. From here I start my real research, reading and looking for similar works but also people consulting. Some kind of database to be more selective. The images I will make will be the product of this long process. Sometimes they will be exactly what I've been looking for, sometimes they will be random pictures but still a consequence of my research.

FUTURE PROJECTS?

In the last few years, I've been working on a new project called SOUTH OF NO NORTH, a research on the relationship between the geographical position of a territory and the representation of itself, that is if a land may have geolocalized features. I try to find a balance on cliches that identify south and north, looking for them in a specific area. Also, I look for external influences for matters that as been imported and a assimilated. It all looks very complex and since photography is for me a way to organize things, I am going through a very deep process.
As Hegel said: what we are “familiar-with” is not intelligently known, just for the reason that it is “familiar.” That's why I am in a very difficult visual synthesis but my projects come up from chaos and creativity and something is already taking form.

 

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