Focus on: Teresa Giannico for
2016 – On New Italian Photography

Teresa Giannico’s research instills doubt on the documentary value of photography trough a process of reconstruction of reality. Her works are the result of a series of consecutive steps, which shape a clear stratification: the subjects of Lay Out, the series on view at 2016 – On New Italian Photography – once the original pictures from online rental ads are downloaded – are printed, mounted on cardboard, arranged in a diorama, re-photographed and re-printed in small and large sizes. Instead of creating a perfect illusionistic machine, perspective reveals the illusion of representation within a precarious and unbalanced world.

Lay Out #4, 2015

F: What was your first approach to photography?
TG: I remember two different “baptisms.” The first time I held a camera in my hands was on the occasion of a school trip, maybe I was 11. When I came back home and we developed the roll, my father was regretful about my pictures, because I’d only shot landscapes without my presence or anyone else’s. “You could have bought postcards, instead!” he said. After this first interest in landscape  – which likely explains why I never returned to it anymore – I really encountered photography while I was studying painting. I used to shoot many pictures of people around me – this time I did, indeed –, which I would then reproduce with brushes. Observing those photographs, I had all the time I needed to study the represented environments and bodies, so to be able to transfer them with precision on a paper or a canvas later.

F: Who or what had an influence on what you do?
TG: Painting, most of all, is what I grew up with, I’ve always loved drawing since I was a child. Over the years, I met many set designers and theatre professionals: I saw very few theatre plays in my life, because I was always in the backstage.
In the end, very few people have taken on an important role in the course of my path: for their way of being, for motivating me to move forward. They were all strict people in any case, of few compliments.


Lay Out #5, 2015

F: What stories do you like to tell?
TG: I like to talk about places and environments following the way they are lived. I also like to see how these places are represented, especially in amateurish photography, which always shows more details than expected. I literally love to assemble my pictures in order to create different layers of reading, trying to speak both about the image itself and its perception.


Lay Out #9, 2015

F: What is the best photobook you have seen so far?
TG: It’s hard to find a favorite photobook, as much as it is hard to look through independent publishing because of its fast rhythm. To be honest, the first image that crossed my mind reading this question was that of my parents’ wedding album. I simply love it, a true masterpiece of the ‘80s, full of accidental wrong settings, bad lighting post-production, a naive and inspiring work!


F: What is the best exhibition you have seen recently?
TG: L’Image Volée curated by Thomas Demand at Fondazione Prada in Milan.


Lay Out #14, 2015

F: And the record you like the most?
TG: Here again, it is not possible for me to choose a favorite one. Since I don’t have a preferred genre, my playlists span from one style to another and often look insane – especially when I listen to Arab music, and look at my neighbours’ scared faces. Maybe the only thing I am sure of is that I always appreciated black music in all its forms. And that sometimes I love music more than figurative art. To mention a record, lately I’ve been back to the ‘90s and I’m always glad to listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), together with all of her solo songs and collaborations.

Notes (3)

F: What are your future projects?
TG: I’ve been long inspired and intrigued by the early XIX century’s photographic backdrops, as another conscious way for people to represent themselves into an environment, this time in a visibly fabricated way. Sometimes I feel like the practices of that period are not too far from the way we act today. I am just approaching the theme and I don’t know yet if it will become a new series, for the moment it is for me an occasion to immerse again into the relationship between photography, painting and perception.

Notes (4)

Teresa Giannico was born in Bari in 1985, and currently lives and works in Milan. After graduating in Figurative Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts of Bari, she specialised in Drawing and Painting, first developing a strong interest in set design and theatre and, at a later stage, in photography. In 2012 she moved to Milan to attend the Master in Photography and Visual Design at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts), after which she worked as an assistant to Paolo Ventura and Toni Thorimbert. After a first display of her work at Plat(t)form 2015, held at the Fotomuseum in Winterthur (Switzerland), she was invited to exhibit her work on the occasion of the Fotopub Festival in Novo Mesto (Slovenia) and at Circulation(s) in Paris. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Francesco Fabbri Prize for her series Lay Out. Over the last year and a half, she has concentrated exclusively on her own personal research, focusing on the creation of new series and projects. She is represented by Viasaterna.

Conversation on self-publishing with Alessandro Ligato, Luca Massaro, Federico Carpani and Teresa Giannico
Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm
Via Leopardi 32, Milan


Teresa Giannico’s studio in Milan.