ISPA 2013 Student Category – Martina Cirese



ENTRANT: Martina Cirese

Hometown:
Paris
Region:
France
Country:
France
1st

INTERNATIONAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS 2013 – STUDENT CATEGORY





Competition entry photos

ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 1
Asankojo_1


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 2
Asankojo_2


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 3
Asankojo_3


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 4
Asankojo_4


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 5
Asankojo_5


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 6
Asankojo_6


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 7
Asankojo_7


ISPAS ENTRY PHOTO 8
Asankojo_8


 

A few words with photographer Martina Cirese

Q: Give the Fotoura community an idea of what your hometown is like. What would you identify as some of its unique characteristics?

Paris has been my hometown for one year and a half. When I met Asan – just two weeks after my arrival in Paris – I gradually found a new relation with the spaces of the city. The change was not caused by Paris itself, but by the personal approach that I had to explore it. Following Asan’s life and taking pictures of him, I got my own way to discover the metropolis: to lose myself walking for hours, being open to anything happening. The characteristics of the hometown that I discovered with Asan are expressed by his words: Through. Throw. Throw off. All of it, all that was, all that still is with you, all that streams down off you as smooth lines of black and red into the shower drain. You are about to immerse in that city of your own. If you are cautious enough to be unconscious, you can enter any of your cities, like Calvino’s Polo, and then, from within, you can build up your own world to live in, your personal Colosseum and mental asylum.


Q: How would you define your personal connection to your hometown and how do you think this comes through in your images?

The first sensation that I had walking in the streets of Paris with Asan was isolation, anxiety, and the constant research for something that was missing. These elements were the basic characteristics of Asan’s inner life. I handed over these feelings from his mental universe to the spaces of the city. So, the personal connection to my hometown is symbolic. It is actually my attempt to represent Asan’s mind, telling the story of his relation with Paris.


Q: What is your favourite image in the series you’ve submitted and why Provide a little bit of background for it and explain your particular relation to it.

My favourite picture in this series is the 5th one [the close-up portrait]. This was the first time that I could photograph Asan looking only for his sensations, for his mental mood, forgetting the technical details of the photographic action. Feelings really came before technical knowledge and rationality that night.

It was a very fast moment, and it was emotionally strong, because Asan opened up the way to intimacy with him, entering into his conflictual relation with himself and his environment. This picture is really important to me because it made me understand that sometimes photography lead us somewhere that we don’t know yet, but that we have to be able to foresee. So, human sensibility and technical skills must be together in photography.


Q: Who are your top photographic influences and how have they affected your approach to photography?

My top photographic influences are, in chronological order, Michael Ackerman, Antonin Kratotchvil, Antoine D’Agata. I saw for the first time some works of Ackerman and Kratotchvil during my first weeks in Paris. Half life by Ackerman and Persona by Kratotchvil literally shocked my photographic vision and I gradually began to see things in a new and more personal way. Then, I became to be interested with D’Agata during all my stay in Paris: his intimate relation with photography, the confusion between life and art itself gave me a lot of questions that are still without definitive answers.


Q: What camera/kit did you use to shoot your submitted images?

During the first nine months of the project I have been using a Nikon D60. Then, I became to use a Nikon D300s.


Q: What type of photography do you typically engage in? Following from this, what does street photography as a method and genre mean to you?

I am usually engaged in a personal and creative kind of photography, which is based on the passion of storytelling, in the middle between documentary and conceptual. Street photography is the method and the genre that let me the possibilities to do all this at the same time. The streets mean always opportunities.


Q: What role if any does humour play in your series? If none, how would you describe the emotional tone of your images?

Humour is at the first place in this work. The project is all based on the intellectual and emotional dialogue with a man, Asan. Individual melancholy, anxiety and a personal research through the spaces of the metropolis are the real keys for entering in this story.


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