Messapia is the name given by the Greeks to Salento and it means “Land between two seas”, the Ionian sea and the Adriatic sea. Located in the most eastern part of Italy, it is a crossing point for migrants and one of the most important routes in the geography of myth.
This is where Virgil sets the landing of Aeneas in the humilis Italia; this is where thousands of refugees land today, running away from their home country, like Aeneas, crossing the Mediterranean sea.
Considering how powerful classicism can be, this project was created to relate mythological and contemporary narrative. For this reason, I decided to compare two stories: the escape and arrival of the Aeneas and S. who, like the virgilian hero, left his country and crossed the sea from Turkey to arrive on the coasts of Salento.
The images describing them come to confuse the subjects, revealing the slowness and the effort of the journey and recalling symbols and details that the travellers collect to get immediate answers to the uncertainty of their destiny.
I have found it very difficult to make sense of my life lately. I grapple with the complex arrangement of layers and layers of busy and conflicting streams.
In rare moments, when photographing this set of work, I find solitude and harmony. Confluence of the streams seem to occur. A rhythm becomes apparent. The noise abates.
I wonder if it is in the repetition of shape and abstracted simplicity that gets me there, the dappled dance of light suggesting the way. This becomes the moment.
INERTIA | According to Newton’s First Law, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The experience of limbo, due to any sudden incident in the course of one’s life, is the cornerstone where my image narrative is based. Anything can change within a fraction of a second, and this work reflects an attempt to interpret and accept loss and “constant-change” phases. The world that I create and photograph is based on everyday life, but the accompaniment of a cinematic aesthetics aims to give a fictional twist and a sensation where still nothing is real nor surreal. Those images become metaphors to another reality. Characters represent archetypal figures, being “indecipherable” while confronting an internal collision. They are somewhere in-between, struggling to reach “light” again.
Under the surveillance of ancient animals | The project is based on the place where I was born and grew up. It works as annotations of my return to this important period of my life, the memories that I have and the way I feel this place now, after many years past . The place is changing, but also my relation with it. It appears to me now as a mute, serene, place, where there’s no time. People and a primordial connection to nature, empty paths, silent houses and animals as the last guardians of this home.
EARTHQUAKES | In May 1976, a strong earthquake destroyed a large area of Friuli Venezia Giulia, in the northeast of Italy. also known in Italy as ìTerremoto del Friuliî (Friulian earthquake), took place on May 6 with a moment magnitude of 6.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). 978 people were killed, 2400 were injured and 157,000 were left homeless. In 1976 my father lived in Buja, a small town near the epicenter of the earthquake, and was 25 years old, almost my actual age.
NYC is complex and mixed city, a city known for its diversity of race, religion, and people from all over the world. Within this city's diverse demographic, there is a group of women over 65 that has been able to remain unperturbed, and they've been observers of the city's constant change. They created homes without families and they've been able to age in place. Many of them inhabit rent-controlled apartments and that's where they've lived for the past 30 or 40 years. I became intrigued by the lives of these women. I see myself in them. I'm aging in a foreign country that has become my home and I've been able to develop strong friendships comparable to the ones back home. But, as I age in this foreign place, the dilemma of aging alone hits hard and I can’t help but wonder if by wanting a family of my own I’m just trying to fix an unknown future. Getting to know these women and seeing their homes, I see women comfortable with who they are and the decisions they’ve made. Meeting them has taught me that whatever I decide it will be OK. Home is many things but ultimately is what we do with the space we inhabit and how we make those spaces our own. Through these strong women, I have found strength in myself too, to embrace what remains unknown.
Aisle Seat | “The window seat is perfect,” she says. “You have complete control of the window shade, you can see the view and the horizon from up there. People in aisle seats can’t see the horizon. Maybe, they are used to it. I don’t know what goes wrong with them.”
Aisle Seat [a seat, esp on a plane, situated at the end of a row, adjacent to the aisle: Collins English Dictionary] explores the impossibility of viewing the horizon by the residents of the big bustling and pulsating metropolises. It is equally futile to be in this life and not be able to approach the sea and the horizon, as it is to fy up high and cannot enjoy the view of them. iliaslois.com
The Maritime provinces that make up the eastern coast of Canada represent a particular geography unlike many. From the ancient jagged cliffs of Nova Scotia to the gentle rolling hills & red rock shores of Prince Edward island, there is a uniqueness there I’ve yet to encounter elsewhere. With an industrious people & relative isolation, it feels untouched in ways other places might experience change. I’m charmed by it’s splendour & relish any chance I get to investigate more of what makes it so. This body of images comprises an inaugural survey of an area I intend to explore further.
Much of what I explore in my artwork stems from an interest in the past, memory, and the history of photography in its’ relation to the present. I am constantly questioning the function of the photograph and how it has evolved.
My collage work serves as a way for me to consider the fallacy that photography is truth, as well as examine the function of the photograph as a necessity for memory. Themes of time, impermanence, and death also emerge. Each collage is constructed using old photographs, paper ephemera, and small objects that are found separately, and then pieced together to construct loose narratives to be interpreted by the viewer. I am drawn to the idea of discarded fragments of former lives coming together to form new life. The absence of information regarding the photographs’ original source allows the viewer to create their own stories and memories, sparking a dialogue between past and present, truth and fiction.
This body of work is ongoing and currently untitled. In contrast to my usual art practice, when making this work I do not restrict myself thematically, but allow my decision making to be guided by intuition. Therefore, each collage also embodies a reflection of my own subconscious mind and memory.
I took these photographs in Campania - a region of Southern Italy. I was travelling by train through the surroundings of Mount Vesuvius. At the same time Southern Europe sweltered under a record heatwave called by Italians “Lucifer”. I was particularly drawn by the complex idea of a place where chronic volcano hazard and hell’s heat intersects with an immense beauty and enduring criminal and economic problems. “Possible Scenario” is a meditation on a mysterious nature of this troubled land.
Huis Clos | This series confronts us to a suggestive confinement. What happens in us when we are faced into a desperate situation ? What does we feel when we have no longer a connexion with the outside world ?
The disorientation and the contact loss with the outside put us into a physical and mental isolation and can lead us in a conscious or subconscious way to modify, perhaps to alter, our relationship with the external reality. This maze slowly conduct us into a mental illness.
Nostalgic Shock Vol. 2 | An estate sale confronts us with the reality of what will become of our material existence after death or loss of self-sufficiency. Having spent time pursuing these sales and uncovering their purpose, it has become unnerving to photograph personal and familial spaces. These estate sales are physical representations of denial in the absence of my grandparents and the memories that I have attached with their homes. Maintaining close connections with family members is a belief upheld on a daily basis. Growing up with the privilege of knowing both maternal and paternal grandparents, their presence has strongly influenced the person I am today. After the loss of both my grandfathers, paternal grandmother, and now with the slow decline of my maternal grandmother’s health, the fixation on preserving childhood memories formed within their households is essential in accepting their absence. By photographing family environments, it forces the mourning process through the interaction with objects and revisiting of spaces.
In my photographic work my biggest focus lays on a place and its surroundings. I’m interested in recontextualisation, giving the new meanings to elements which are found by accident, seemed to be immaterial.
My way is never planned. I mostly relay on my intuition while I try to discover by wandering the genius loci of the space around me. I emphasise the process which takes place during the photographic work itself – since. I explore the city and the areas around it. This has a special meaning for me; this is what my photographic creativity is all about, constantly exploring and discovering new area. Giving new meanings, comparing places, items met on the road. Continuous observation of reality that I would experience there.
Discovering the city, step by step and finding all the pieces. A stay in Syracuse would be an impulse for me to find a photographic language differing from my usual approach, less abstract and revolving more on a site-specific cultural codes behind the places I would visit.
Better Days | Korea has been developed rapidly over 40 years, which caused a lot of social ironies. One of the irony is long working hours with very short period of break. During holidays, Koreans try their best to enjoy it, but due to lack of time to travel, they spend time mostly around city. Therefore, the leisure places around Seoul and suburb try to show something interesting to entertain their customers. By doing so, all of the western and Korean cultures are mixed together. The "Better Days" describes Korean spectacles from the way they enjoy their short vacation.
LOST IN LA BASSA | Luigi Ghirri says that melancholia can also arise when a landscape can make us remember too many things and that's probably what I felt when I shoot the images collected in this series.
The project "Lost in La Bassa" is about the lands where I was born and where I used to live when I was a little kid. When I moved to another town I used to come back here to visit my relatives but, with the passage of time the visits have become more sporadic. That's why I decided to retrace these landscapes in order to recall lost memories from my childhood and see these lands with new eyes.
DAYLIGHT | A rusting dollhouse is a world of make-believe with its own quirky authority; the fakery of room details can offer a convincing enough invitation to pretend. The familiar play of daylight can bestow an even greater credibility on these counterfeit rooms. Ironically, that very daylight is busily exposing the slots and tabs of dollhouse construction and unmasking the just-adequate bits of trompe l’oeil.
If we assume that humans, and by extension, human civilization is a product of nature, considering the way that appeared, as small growing changes in topography, an external observer could describe it as an autoimmune disease attacking its own body. However, what it would considered as a disease is our very existence and the cure, the ecological movement, does not aim at the «salvation of the planet» but at the salvation of human existence on the planet. Humanity’s impact on Earth’s geology is so crucial that the 11650 years old Holocene, the current Geological epoch, is proposed to replaced by a new one called Anthropocene, from the Greek word «anthropos» for human.
Mourning Tears | In this series, I combine the sometimes harsh reality of post mortem tintypes with symbolism used in posthumous paintings of the same era. Recording the dead as a treasured remembrance was common practice in the 19th century and was not considered morbid. Mortality rates were high especially among mothers and children; it was common for babies to remain unnamed until after their first year of life.
Death was an intimate experience which took place at home. Preparation was often carried out by women, who embraced death as a fact of life. It was a custom for the rich to hire an artist to paint the deceased. The artist would incorporate symbolic meaning into the painting to help ease the sadness of those left behind. The invention of the tintype, in the mid 1800’s, was a new inexpensive photographic process which allowed people of all classes to have a loved ones image recorded. This was often the only visual documentation of the deceased. Post mortem tintypes could be a harsh, signs of illness or rigor mortis may be apparent. Sometimes eyes were either forced open or painted on closed lids. The practice of propping the deceased in a chair or even standing, wearing their best clothes was common. As was photographing the deceased among family members.
By adding flowers, color, fabric, objects and scenes to post mortem tintypes, the symbolism used by the posthumus painters, I hopefully create a softer narrative. There is always sadness with death and the tears incorporated in each image pay tribute to both the deceased and the ones left behind.
“Islands: Mallorca”, is the first part of a conceptual photographic quadriptych "Island", focusing on the four main Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera) located near the east coast of Spain on an archipelago in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. The idea emerged during the many months of my stay on Mallorca, where I worked, paid taxes, made friends, experienced the openness of the locals, and finally became the island's resident myself, strongly identifying with the local customs and culture while escaping the tourist fuss. Thanks to that, I discovered one of the most popular destinations for leisure and partying from a different perspective. I discovered that Mallorca as a place treated by locals with a certain dose of reverence and magic. It is full of beautiful and undiscovered obelisks, landscapes, sun-roasted nature, and masonic mysteries - a perfect refuge for modern hippies and nomads.
Mallorca releases mainly holiday, party moods, it is associated with intoxicating nights and romantic sunsets. However, beneath the surface there lies the energy of a place having its own identity, temperature, and colour.
Cycle „Islands: Mallorca", which is the first conceptual documentary project about this spanish island.