Giampiero Assumma Naples, Italy
Giampiero Assumma, born in Naples in 1969, he is an independent photographer and video maker. His body of work is comprised of many long term projects that offer their own constructive interpretation of the human condition. Alienation, mental and emotional motivations, rituals and addiction, borders and outer-limit experiences are recurring themes throughout his images.
He lives and works in Berlin.
Giampiero Assumma was chosen by artist Olga Serry.
Laatikkomo’s interview with Giampiero Assumma May 9th, 2017
L: Where are you from? What cities, and/or countries have you lived in – or what places have influenced you?
GA: I was born in Naples where I spent most of my life. I moved to Paris 12 years ago and then to Berlin 5 years ago now.
As any napolitain, I’d surely say that I’ve been very much influenced, also visually, by the strong character of my hometown. I’ve been also inspired by Paris and Berlin, of course, especially through a continuous confrontation with my origins. Being born in Naples, indeed means you would never reroot yourself for real in any other place, ’cause your world would be always somewhere else than Naples!
L: What is your earliest memory of photography?
GA: On a summer day, when I was a child, I saw my father taking a portrait of my mother at the sea sunset. A moment after he made a photo of my little brother. Accidentaly a double exposure on the negative happened. Afterwards when printed the superimposition, the effect was incredibly emotional and magic to me; an amazement I’ll never forget.
L: Many of your series appear to explore sacred topics. Is photography a religious expression for you?
GA: Photography is a religious expression for me only as a motive. A concept that embraces all the higher metaphysical aspirations, which are art’s own.
We also must have “faith” in our subjects, ’cause only faith binds all images into a system of life.
And to sacred topics we may also list anything made with a sentiment or that has a special significance for human beings. For instance in the bodybuilders series these athlets worship their bodies.
L: The majority of your images are photographed in black and white (film) but on your website I did see that on occasion you use colour. Aside from adding an accent, what influences your use of colour?
GA: Black and white photos are more intimate to me, I feel they are closer to the essence of photography. That essence you might capture from a person or an object, or a scene. Something like visual echoes from which appearances emanate.
When I use color it is because the color itself captures my attention. In the picture it might bring a hidden message, or a meaning. Sometimes I’ve been also inspired by the light of a city to photograph the street life in color nuances rather than b/w.
L: Your images have both an old and timelessness feeling about them. How do you choose your themes or subjects?
GA: My work explores different themes, all born with a sense of seeking, fueled by curiosity and nourished by the continual incursion into places, into nature and human life.
Nevertheless I believe that we are mostly servants of those born opportunities, rather than it is completely our choice.
I work long term on my series, and in this process, I always try to move on from the preconceptions and really go in-depth into the subject and balancing outward realities with my inner vision.
This approach might perhaps give back to images that sense of timelessness feeling you described.
L: What is one of the most important questions that you ask yourself, or would like to inspire others to ask, through your photographs?
GA: What indeed is really fascinating to me is to explore the infinite variety of life experience through the images. The most important questions is always about to find your own sense, to transcend the sensitive world we inhabit, to build your own dialogue on human condition.
L: Could you list five or more words related to the work you are showing in Laatikkomo?
GA: Ritual, cycle, dignity, mask, circle, fierceness, faith, identity, memory.
Thank you so much !!