Artist features

Alessandra Spranzi

The artistic research of Alessandra Spranzi is connected with photography, with photographic staging, the reuse of images of her own or taken by others, collage and “photographs of photographs”. Her work reveals a taste for humble materials, everyday situations, domestic settings, neglected and obsolete objects, handwork and gestures.

All images Courtesy the artist and P420, Bologna

Through these tools and these subjects, through appropriations and even minimal manipulations, Spranzi never stops questioning the mystery of existence and the fundamental forces that determine our fate, as well as that of the objects and spaces that surround us.
Though she shows photographs, Alessandra Spranzi is not a photographer, but an artist who uses photography. This distinction might seem cavillous, or even obsolete: it dates back to the 1970s and has gradually lost its aptness to describe the evolution of the photographic language. But in Spranzi’s case, and that of this exhibition, in particular, it can be useful. Most of the works in the show, created over the last two years, do not feature original images shot by Spranzi, but recycle images of others taken from practical manuals, science books, classified ads. They are photographs Spranzi has collected over the years, selected and then reutilized in a different way: rephotographing them, cutting, enlarging, printing with techniques that differ from those used to make the original image, or at times using them as the starting materials for a collage. What interests her is to point out a beauty that was already lurking, unseen, in existing images: anonymous photographs, not made by professionals, or in any case made without artistic ends. The artist writes: For years I have been thinking about the often latent or exhausted potential that exists in images, returning to observe and use anachronistic or humble materials in projects that are always different, that bring to light, or reveal, the hidden, irrational side of things and images. To collect, put together and interface as a way of reorganizing, or surprising, sight and thought, to call the enigmatic nature of the photographic image that continually questions us back into play.

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Tique | publication on contemporary art #3: Six Questions