The definition of an artist has always puts me in awe. I think you can only apply it to a few people and I definitely don’t feel like one of them!
regenerating, constructive solitude, not at all a distressing solitude.
Many interesting projects end up not being appreciated as much as they deserve
travel for me…
It has nothing to do with the glossy world of travel journals crowding social media
Irene Tondelli is a young photographer born in Carpi. During her life she has been able to make some “very tiring” trips and the result is some of these photos. The nature portrayed by Irene Tondelli attracts you. The reason perhaps, lies in the fact that looking at some of her photos, one wonders if they were taken on our planet. In others, if time has stopped, or simply because they seem to have a preferential lane for communicating with the deep recesses of our consciousness. Irene Tondelli does not see herself as an artist, but does what artists should do, which is to capture and stimulate the observer’s identity.
When did you decide that your role would become that of an artist?
Hello everyone, first of all, and thanks for this chat.
The definition of an artist has always puts me in awe. I think you can only apply it to a few people and I definitely don’t feel like one of them! I work in a creative field, from communication to graphics, and I’m taking my first steps in curating and obviously I deal with photography. I have been photographing for as long as I can remember, and it has always fascinated me even if my absolute favourite thing as a child was drawing. I see myself in the word photographer because it evokes the idea of a trade, manual skills, craftsmanship, know-how. It is a concrete and solid word; it gives me security.
Looking at your photos you seem very attracted to the north, to the cold, the rocks and perhaps even the solitude. Could this be a correct interpretation?
Solitude is certainly a correct interpretation. But a regenerating, constructive solitude, not at all a distressing solitude. For me it has always been synonymous with freedom. The cold, the natural elements such as rocks, the mountains, and the vegetation are a means to tell it. Sometimes they are characters in a story.
Today, despite being so easy to find and publish photos, you have created Fanzastic which publishes independent projects on paper. Why?
Fanzastic is a project-event conceived together with Walter Borghisani and evolved from the need to attract the interest of non-experts to the world of independent self-publishing in the provinces.
The first edition was hosted by Comò Lab in Reggio Emilia.
We liked the idea of establishing a constructive dialogue between citizens and authors around a world accessible to many, but not always so easy to read. Very often the cultural offer and the real users seem distant to me. Many interesting projects end up not being appreciated as much as they deserve, and the reason for this is that they are not adequately valued and rendered accessible. Often everything remains within a small circle of creative types that make up a group in each city. I find it diminishing as well as not being very stimulating.
A question I’ve already asked other colleagues of yours: What is your relationship with travel?
Very controversial because I am basically a person of habit, but equally aware that too much linearity ends up boring me and making me apathetic. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that travel for me is synonymous with a tent, a sleeping bag, a gas stove and dehydrated meals, and hours and hours of walking with equipment on my back. It has nothing to do with the glossy world of travel journals crowding social media. Travelling, therefore, becomes fundamental, magical and at the same time a little painful and tiring. But I believe that without sacrifice you wouldn’t go anywhere. The best photos I remember, I took in moments of absolute discomfort that paradoxically made me feel very connected with the landscape.
Is there a subject or place that you would long to photograph?
The Antarctic. I would also like to go back to the Amazon rainforest; I was there last autumn, in the Peruvian part. I was fascinated and at the same time disturbed. I would like to go back and see what effect it has on me now, maybe stay longer, to give me time to digest the situation at least a little.
Now a more materialistic question: For emerging young people like you, what are the most common channels to turn a profit?
Probably working as a photographic assistant or devoting yourself to and specialising in a commercial sector. I personally prefer to separate things, follow photographic projects that I am passionate about and run this activity parallel to that of the field of communication. I don’t get bored, it allows me to feel like I’m constantly evolving, and having to compromise less.