I am so happy to announce that this month we start something new on the blog: an interview section with a contemporary artists. And in this first interview I want to introduce you to the photographer Caterina Notte, whose career has begun in the 2000’s in the Rome galleries, while she was studying Economics at La Sapienza University.
When was your first contact with art?
The sudden discovery of the existence of something called Art is always unsettling. I remember feeling weak in my knees, when I found myself in front of The Scream of Munch, at the Lugano museum. It was like entering a room full of terror, and with no air. Suddenly I made an objective, the perception I had always had of that bewilderment that I had only intuited until then. From that moment I have reconsidered my physical body, its mute and silent fragility, and the thought of being able to free myself from it. Today I am trying to rewrite this very weakness.
Who encouraged you to pursue an artistic career? (the question was originally was “Who introduced you to art?” but I think this question fits better to your answer)
In my life and career, I have met people who have encouraged my work. My partner more than anyone else, who pushed me to contact the first art critic. But on my side, I also had the genuine enthusiasm of many operators in the sector, curators and collectors who suggested the way to me, and this is really very important for an artist who does research, without compromise, because the obstacles are certainly greater and to know in any case that you are on the right side of the story or simply believe you are undoubtedly very effective!
When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I never imagined doing anything else when I grow up. At 5, my father gave me the family camera. From that moment I knew I was going to do something creative in my life. I spent many afternoons after school pretending to be a photographer, I didn’t have many films available, but I just had to look in the viewfinder and imagine seeing a whole new world.
“Art is an essential part of life itself and is more than just a reconstructed moment. I like to see things in a different light, which is how my everyday subjects suddenly become supergirls! Reality changes when I photograph it, but it becomes my version of reality as a result”.
Where did you study art?
In Rome where I attended the faculty of Architecture for a few years but then realized that this was not my calling. I felt the need for another form of art to express myself. So, I enrolled in Economics and Commerce and in the meantime, I was taking painting lessons from a master of the academy. I decided to keep my artistic and conceptual work on two parallel levels. In the end, economic theories and interpretations of needs intervened very often in my research, especially in videos. I think it was a perfect combination, a very productive co-evolution.
Where do you find inspiration?
From the body. The only thing I feel I own; I am the body I have, and it is a vast field for my research. It is necessary to recover subjectivity now that reality has expanded. But it is also important to make a journey backwards, that place us in front of our past and from there to start again we’ll calibrated like a voyager.
Do you have a favourite among your projects?
The project of the moment. It is always the one on which I pour all my energy. Now without a doubt Predator. It is a social project, current and participatory, it makes me feel inside the story.
What artists inspired you when you were young? And today?
When I was in the gymnasium, I saw for the first time Bergman’s Seventh Seal and Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew. I think my path was decided that afternoon in front of that black and white full of humanity, fragile and strength at the same time. The figure of Pasolini’s Jesus, so desperately human, and a man’s game of chess to win the inevitable, pushed me to constantly question myself. Today I still look for that austerity imbued with humanity. This is why it helps me to study Beuys’s work, I would like to be able to photograph a body, as if it were one of his stones, universal, still, silent or to photograph Edward Hopper’s suspended time in a present stretched towards the future but also to suggest a before and after as Jeff Wall does exactly in his staging. So, I point the camera exactly on the changing reality to block that single image that is about to move and allow the viewer to perceive the coexistence of several directions. This is what the artist must do: slip into the cracks of reality and perform reality in an act of courage without compromise.
For more information about Caterina:
All images were kindly provided by the artist.