Luca Marianaccio:
photography as a means of renouncing reality

By Carlotta Ferrati & Andrea Carloni

August 2019

Luca Marianaccio is an architect who was born in 1986 in Agnone, a small town in Molise, but lives and works between Pescara and Grottaglie (Puglia). In 2012 he discovers photography and from that moment he understands that perhaps his destiny is not to be an architect. Even if only a few years have passed since he started working as a professional photographer, he has already had the opportunity to point out his work in various festivals and exhibitions. The reality is strongly conditioned by how he wants it to be. Looking at his shots it is possible to become aware of portions of our existence that are often rendered invisible by the multitude of fast tasks we perform every day.

Luca Marianaccio – Selfpotrait

You have a degree in architecture, but you became a photographer. Can you tell us about your journey?

In architecture, photography is used as a preliminary investigation medium. For example, the project sites and the existing one are photographed. A few years ago, I got to know some professional photographers who, after seeing my photos, strongly encouraged me to continue with this activity. Before 2012 photography wasn’t part of my life. It’s something that caught my eye only after I graduated.

Luca Marianaccio – Sharks never sleep

Your photos portray reality, but for many reasons they take you away from it, towards something more metaphysical. Can you talk about your language?

Speaking about language is never a simple thing. What I can tell you is that within these images you can find all my obsessions. Often what you see is the result of a lot of cutting and editing compared to the starting macrocosm. It is continually being pared. The things I portray are under everyone’s noses, but within a wide field of vision they can pass unnoticed, and I like to chase after them.

Luca Marianaccio – 404 Not Found

What you mean by paring? That you take a detailed approach, or you work on them later, during post-production?

Both things. In some cases, it’s a way of looking at something very closely to the point of excluding others. In other cases, it is the removal of the objects in the frame during post-production. However, in both instances the resulting image is the one I had in mind. I can’t help wanting it the way I imagined it.

Luca Marianaccio – 404 Not Found

What is your approach to the large number of photos that we can easily find on the web and social media?

All these systems have generated a sort of image bulimia. For those who don’t do my job, I believe that this situation is more positive than negative because we can quickly see both distant and inaccessible places. All this took away a bit of charm from the planning of the trip that previously took more time because I used to consult maps, books etc. One problem with the web is that when searching, we see not just what we want, but also many superfluous images. In the long run this approach builds up a residue of unwanted information in my mind. All of which is very tiring and worse, it helps to create a sort of passive imagery that can influence my way of doing things.

Luca Marianaccio – Spin-Off

So, the immense and immediate availability of everything can be a problem for you?

Yes. For some authors, knowing that thousands of photos have already been shot in the same place or situation where they find themselves spurs them on. Sometimes they even manage to utilise them somehow for their own work. In my case, contrarily, I feel a sense of inhibition.

Luca Marianaccio – Sharks never sleep

Are there any photographers or artists that have been significant for you?

Two authors that were important for me were Luigi Ghirri and Guido Guidi, but I also keep my eye on many contemporary and very young authors. If on the one hand the contents of the web can create inhibition, on the other they have allowed me to get to know many interesting authors and create a kind of virtual network where we can compare ourselves and keep up-to-date with new opportunities. Among the photographers who continue to be viewed are Thismans and Gregory Colbert. In Italy, Jacopo Benassi comes to mind.

Luca Marianaccio – Spin-Off

What’s it like to be a photographer in Italy?

I couldn’t do any other job, but being able to turn this passion into a livelihood isn’t easy. I don’t believe this problem is just an Italian issue. In Italy there is also a cultural problem because photography is not considered on a par with other arts, for example photography, unlike the history of art, architecture and music, is not taught in public schools.

Luca Marianaccio – Sharks never sleep

Do you have a favourite camera?

There is no medium for which I have a particular affinity compared to others. I started working on pre-digital, and thanks to this I learned to try not to take unnecessary shots and try to make as few mistakes as possible. For the rest I have used pretty much all tools from the phone to the optical bench.

Luca Marianaccio – Estetica quotidiana
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