Focus on: Martina Corà for 2016 – On New Italian Photography

Martina Corà dedicates her work to the most popular uses and functions of photography in order to investigate its social values and communicative meanings. For the two series featured in 2016 – On New Italian Photography, Quadri Cinesi che si Muovono and Ooooolympics respectively, the artist did not take any photographs, building her projects on a process of appropriation and re-contextualization of preexisting images. Everything starts from an archive. In her research, photography is deprived of any technical refinement, so to underscore its iconic value, which is still capable to create wonder and build an irreplaceable testimony of what once was.


F: What was your first approach to photography?
MC: My approach to photography was definitely digital, I started taking pictures in 2004 with a Nikon Coolpix SQ (look it up, it’s an obsolete object) and liked it a lot, so I thought I’d give it a try. Years later, I’m still trying to figure out what photography is to me and in some ways I hope I’ll never find out.

F: Who or what had an influence on what you do?
MC: Something between Luigi Ghirri and the Internet.

F: What stories do you like to tell?
MC: Rather than documenting reality, I am interested in bringing to light those unexpected moments and combinations that are capable of fostering curiosity and, in the most fortunate cases, astonishment. I like the fact that the few seconds people spend looking at my works could make them smile and create simple emotions, bringing them back to childhood and playful times. Quoting Hitchcock, I am more interested in the tranche de gateau (piece of cake), rather than the tranche de vie (slice of life).

F: What is the best photobook you have seen so far?
MC: I’m not really into photobooks, actually I find myself more drawn to illustration or painting books when it comes to being inspired by something. One of my latest encounters was Alan Riddell’s Typewriter Art (London Magazine Editions, 1975).

F: What is the best exhibition you have seen recently?
MC: If 2010 is still considered recent, I’d say Il Charismo. Omaggio a De Rocchi – Luce e colore a Milano negli anni trenta, which took place at Palazzo Reale; I remember it more vividly than a lot of other exhibitions I’ve seen in the last six years.
Still, I’m waiting to visit the 9th Berlin Biennale and I have a really good feeling about it.


F: And the record you like the most?
MC: It’s gotta be Franco Battiato’s Sulle Corde di Aries (1973).

F: What are your future projects?
MC: I try to stay as focused as I can on the here and now, so we’ll see tomorrow. : )


Martina Corà, born in Como in 1987, lives and works in Milan. After graduating from the European Institute of Design in Milan in 2009, with a thesis on reportage, since 2010 she has developed an ever greater interest in landscape photography, linked to the Italian 80s tradition, and in visual arts in general, paying great attention to new media and net art. As a freelance photographer, she carries out corporate and lifestyle projects, working with both Italian and international clients including EXPO 2015, Kellogg’s, Louis Vuitton, Brooks Brothers, Coca Cola, Lavazza, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and collaborating with various photographic agencies and newspapers, such as Il Corriere Della Sera, La Repubblica, Il Giorno and Il Fotografo. She took part to a number of group shows in Milan, such as Parlami di me at Studio Morinn (2008), Sound in a Frame at Spazio Aurora (2009), Untitled 1 at Galleria Castelli (2009), Untitled 2 (2010), Self Publish, Be Naughty at MiCamera (2011), and to Viaggio in Italia? in Savignano, 2014. She is represented by Viasaterna.


Martina Corà’s studio in Milan