A conversation about photography with Sara Serpilli
Italian, but actually living in Dublin, Ireland.
What do you enjoy most about photography?
Photography is an intellectual activity, and at the same time is a physical activity. I am a very energetic person, and the fact to constantly move to frame, to change point of view might seem a very simple reason to love photography, but is for me very important. You have to be technical, artistic at the same time, to think and to do. Generally speaking, Photography allows you to deal with others, but the camera itself is big enough to “protect” you. I am a very curios/shy person, and photography is a very challenging tool for me.
Was there anything that inspired you to start making photos?
I was crazy for art since I am very little, and I liked so much Man Ray, Bragaglia from the futurist movement and many others. But if I have to be honest, the main reason I start to take pictures was probably because I loved to go around with my best friend Emy in our little town in Italy were there was nothing to do. Taking pictures was a great excuse to walk around and to transform a field in the background for our “amazing creation”. I start to love to take pictures because that let me feel free and happy.
What is your favourite object/subject/topic to photograph?
Oops, very difficult question. I adore street photography but… I don’t feel good enough or brave enough to do it… I still go around with the camera on my neck, but often I came back at mine and I feel very frustrated. That “failure” gave me lots of thinking… and I realised that it wasn’t worth to focus on what I cannot do… so I start to think differently… I kept going to take portrait photography and street photography, but I develop first an idea, a project, and then I feel more “strong” and I am able to take the pictures. I am actually working on a project called “Conquistadores” that will be a series of portraits of immigrants that live in my same area in Dublin.
Do you feel it is important to share your vision on social media?
I don’t really know… I think is fantastic to reach people you would had never, never been able to reach before. But is very tricky to do not fall into the “appreciation” trap that social media represent.
Who do you think is your aimed audience?
I don’t have any aimed audience at all. As long someone will enjoy or appreciate what I do, I am happy with. My work is not a political work. I have my opinions, and surely that might appear on my work, but I don’t target females more than males or a specific group. The only message I have is that Art make me believe and feel that there is still hope… there is not a specific Audience for that.
Do you like working on stories at home/in your local community?
I never thought if I like to work in my local community or not… I remember than younger my aim was to became a great photographer and to travel a lot and found great places and people to portrait… and then I realised my family was already the most fantastic subject ever and that to take good pic, you don’t need to go far away.
Do you think photography could change someone’s life? In what way?
Yes, I do think Art and Photography can change someone’s life!! Regardless you will be a good or bad photographer, regardless you will travel or not, by doing photography you constantly train yourself to see the beauty, to create the beauty, to chase the beauty. When I use the word Beauty, I am not speaking about a lovely beach or a pretty girl (as well why not), but I am generally speaking about what make sense to you, what make an average street or building or tired face or whatever you identify important enough to be capture by you. You mainly train yourself to give value… this can transform everyone life.
Last year, before going to work, I used to listen to this very fun song from Los Rios… “Macarena”.
I struggled to integrate into the office life, and I was trying to boost my energy with this morning ritual. From here I started to post on Facebook my images with texts where I was pretending to speak with this imaginary friend Macarena. I have created this funny alter ego to which I asked questions.
Lots of people were asking me who was Macarena… just a song, I used to reply, but little by little I realised that Macarena had taken a deeper dimension for me. Macarena was more than a Los Rios song … it was the funny, superficial and optimistic part of me. It was a very powerful filter to express my thoughts. Sarcasm and humour play a key role in this series of self portraits that I created for this project.
So I started this series of images by fully assuming this “double identity”. My goal is to create funny pictures that touch strong topics for me as Sara, me as a woman and me as an artist.
I pose in different places of the house where I live by questioning myself about personal and feminine issues: my body and the media, my age, love, nationality and belonging.
I revisit the imagery of the story of art with “Portrait of a Lady”. Or I pose as Eve in the living room. I make fun of Lara Croft. I wrap myself in my bed linen as if I were an emperor to exasperate my Italian origins. I created a magic cube that I put on my head, and I pose with a headband with the shape of unicorn to reflect about the myth of the uniqueness of which we are more and more victim in a system that repeat us “YOU ARE UNIQUE” or “BE YOURSELF”.