In today’s highlight of our Atelier 32 exhibition, we look at the work of Simone Brogini, featured here and tonight in our Artist Talk in conversation with Miren Etcheverry and Conrad Gees. Join us for a discussion about creativity in a pandemic, learning online, and the creativity that can come from life under a new normal. In order for us to learn more about Simone’s creativity, we asked him a few questions.
Which of these images was the impetus for this series? How did it inform how you completed the series?
As the pandemic kept us all home, I was looking at my empty street with no activity from us or our neighbors. I wanted to capture this emptiness and I started to photograph the homes around us. At first I just took images from my camera showing the surrounding neighborhood. Then, as we were living in isolation it was almost like being in a bubble, so I started to experiment taking the same kind of images through an empty glass. I was intrigued by the results and liked the rounded vision that represents the new world seen from within this imaginary bubble. From then I started to represents in the same way our life as a family living in this imaginary bubble, so I introduced moment of our life from inside our home such as smart working, remote school learning, moment of fun, and fear to get out even wearing a mask.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
We are living in this weird moment of our life with a worldwide pandemic which changed our reality. This imaginary bubble wants to represent the emptiness and the silence we have been living in for so long. No noise on the street, no cars, no children screaming, parks were empty. The images want to represent this but also passing from the fear of getting out of the house wearing masks, to the hope of being able to get back to our normal life soon. This hope is represented from the images showing some color of nature and looking at blossoming flowers.
How the Atelier has helped you hone your vision as an artist?
I have been taking images for a long time but probably have never seen them from a fine art point of view. This happened through the classes and the feedbacks I received from Meg and my other colleagues who pushed me to step out from my comfort zone and experiment with something different. In fact, my first attempt to a project was to photograph the emptiness of our cities with B&W images. I really liked those images, but I received comments of being a theme already seen. From then I started to work with a new mindset using some ideas I had through the class assignment, which was the abstract theme when I started to shoot through a glass. It was a complete change, but pointed me into the right direction.
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
For my next step, I am certainly using what I have learned with the Atelier, which is to identify a project and stick with it. I don’t know yet what this next project will be for me, have few ideas but are not yet defined. For sure I will retrying from taking random images not linked to a defined project or not linked into any type of stories I would like to tell. The Atelier had surely taught me how to see through my camera in a different way.