THROUGH THE IMAGES HE FILTERS APPARENTLY INCONSISTENT DIMENSIONS WITHOUT ANY DISTORTION. SILENCE, POLITICS, COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY PENETRATE THE LANDSCAPES THAT ACT AS THE SETTING FOR THE ARTIST’S EXPLORATIONS. FILIPPO MINELLI EXPRESSES AN OBJECTIVE VISION OF A REALITY THAT IS EVIDENT TO ALL, WITH A DEEP RESPECT BOTH FOR THE URBAN SPACES AND THE SENSITIVITY OF THOSE WHO VIEW HIS WORKS.
Tell me about your background and studies.
I started as a kid, I was self-taught, then I studied New Media at Brera. I left the Accademia after earning my Bachelor’s degree, I was too impatient to follow through the school’s educational path .
What inspires you when you decide to create a series?
Everything and nothing, ideas come up when I’m doing normal things. I am very much concerned with the connection between landscape, politics and identity, so I often lose myself thinking when I walk around without a precise destination or when I am waiting for someone. The first steps are usually very instinctive, often I do not even focus on what really interests me about what I’m doing, it simply captures my attention.
Why did you choose photography of all other media to explore man’s relationship with geography, architecture, politics and communication?
Rather than photography, I’d say I chose images, whether or not they have been shot or created by me. Images, including photographs, are incredibly direct and give the viewer the time to reflect on the details that compose them, on their elements. I was never interested in formal perfection, I am much more attracted to what’s in those images, and what they tell.
How important is traveling for you and based on what criteria you choose your destinations ?
Since I’ve been freelancing I travel four-six months a year for exhibitions and projects but also independently. It is extremely important for my artistic practice as traveling enables me to see things I already know from a different angle, or to learn new things. I travel a lot also out of fear, because the art world is incredibly self-referential and tied to ‘feudal’ systems, I don’t want to run the risk of letting those parameters become my working or thinking method.
In ‘Contradictions’ you put reality and the social media in relation. What do you think of social media and new technology?
They are an amazing media that I would want to use for a project, but the right moment has not arrived yet, the new technologies are a new setting in which ne can move and observe. I have been studying and financing projects connected to blockchain and decentralization for years, but I still haven’t found any application in them that may have an artistic, if not provocative, value. With such means I would like to create something that may also have a useful role in society.
‘Silence Shapes’ shows colored smoke bombs over natural or urban landscapes. Does this choice have a political meaning?
The inspiration comes precisely from politics, and, yes, the aesthetic of politics and politics itself have been present in my works, sometimes only in a marginal way. I saw videos from street demonstrations is which the smoke bombs visually silenced the scene and muffled the noises, hence the idea of using smoke bombs to give a physical shape to silence. The idea that a violent act may generate beauty has always fascinated me and for this project I worked precisely on this, since its inception, in 2009. I do not consider it as a finished project, and I still work on it sometimes.
How and why did the idea for ‘Chemotherapy Update’ come up?
That one was not a project, actually, it was rather a way to keep myself mentally sane and communicate it to friends and family while I was in isolation to undergo chemotherapy. In 2010, it was Christmas, I was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma and spent most of 2011 in therapy. When you’re about to die every little thing in your daily life has a new value, I found this smartphone app normally used to create the flyers to promote actual events like concerts and events, using photos and graphics. I thought it was funny to think I could use it to report on the dull routine of hospital life.
Any new projects on the horizon?
Last summer I started ‘What things are not’ during a residence at the National Center of Contemporary Arts in San Petersburg, a project that revolves around landscape perception and the superimposition of the digital over the real landscape. The project is based both on documentation and installations, I am also preparing the new works for Barcelona and Los Angeles.