TEACH ME HOW YOU DESIGNED THESE CREATURES
By Stefano Conti
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project explores the disparate theories and contradictions around the Nuragic civilization's historiography. This prehistoric Sardinian population existed between 2.300 BC - 200 AD and played a central role in shaping the contemporary identity of the island. The lack of indisputable information about them and the abundance of unresolved hypotheses made room for several myths to emerge, often real traps in the historical narrative which paved the way to bizarre and absurd theories. The project started in 2021 during the Nocefresca residency programme in Sardinia, Italy, and it is still ongoing.
"Through a cross-disciplinary approach that intertwines photography, sculpture, and collage, in my practice I explore topics related to historiography and humans’ relationship to objects, resulting in both installations and publications.
I am fascinated by the methods that archaeologists and historians employ to attempt to define linear historical paths. Often, they fill gaps in information by supposing, formulating hypotheses based on new little evidence and re-writing what has already been written. Similarly, in my practice I use intuition and playfulness as tools to engage with the uncertainty that surrounds traces from the past and places that hold multiple historical narratives.
I conceive my studio as a playground, a safe space with many props and a few rules where I don’t have to make decisions, but where I can just enjoy playing. Building sites, landfills, storage spaces, and museum collections are the sources of the materials I welcome in my studio and the places that are currently shaping my creative imagery."
"What interests me the most in the medium of photography is its ambiguity, I never know if I trust what I look at. I’m interested in its materiality, in the fact that it looks flat but is not really. Also in its surface, which carries so many meanings, and in its flexibility, you can make it huge or super tiny. It's a tool that makes my process very playful and intuitive."
STEFANO CONTI & PEP
With his series "When I killed your tulips", Stefano Conti participated in the PEP exhibition "Obsessions":
“This project explores the social biography of objects through photography. By that, how their meanings change and are renegotiated throughout history, depending on the social interactions they are caught up in. It’s a playful tool I use to investigate photography and its representation, to declare a construction, to engage the viewers in questioning what they are looking at.
Snapshots depicting statues and pure materials are repeatedly printed out, re-photographed, and juxtaposed to still life. In the images, I leave clues that suggest the presence of a studio setting and that expose the process of making. This expresses my obsession for not only what is placed in front of the camera, but also what lies behind it and just to the side of the frame.
The images part of the project are made of overlapped paper cut-outs from analogue photographs that I print out and re-arrange in a constant attempt of exploring new visual spaces reflecting upon the fragmentation of our contemporary digital sphere.“
"When I killed your tulips by Stefano Conti, from the PEP exhibition "Obsessions"