Marta Galmozzi, the Italian artist who pushes the photographic medium out of its traditional borders.
For Marta Galmozzi, photography is a material substance. Mostly site-specific, her installations investigate the space and the perception of it through the ambiguity of the medium of photography. Her subjects are people or elements from the daily life displaced from their original context and caught into dream-like scenes. The images are usually cut-out from images (or found-images) and are used as sculptural elements to create a surreal dimension where new stories are possible. By seeking the sculptural potential behind a photograph, the contemporary nonsense is questioned through human or architectural shapes.
Ciao Marta! ☺ Can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Marta, a visual artist from Italy. My work ranges from photography to sculpture and includes experiments around images such as collages and installations.
I studied Fine Arts in Italy at Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti of Bergamo and graduated with a Master in Photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. After three years of living in Belgium, I am currently based in Italy.
Your work transforms fragments of ordinary everyday life scenes, mostly nature in unexpected, surprising ways. What appeals to you about photographs, collage and other mixed medias as your preferred medium of choice? And what drew you towards developing this personal practice?
Since I was a child I used to make collages by cutting out fashion magazines.
Now, my practice has changed through the years: from flat photo-collages into more sculptural photo-installations.
I like to think about the exhibition space and its perception. In particular, my works play between the 2D and the 3D, like a trompe l’oeil made of photographs. The photographic element contains an inner contrast: it is a flat surface that can suggest a certain depth.
Plus, photography has a physical potential, its materiality. For this reason, my research developed into this new dimension, involving different media and the exhibition space.
Looking through your works, there is a sense of reinventions of moments in a way that suspends them somewhere between truth and fiction. Your works are recontextualised and subtly transformed, they emerge into a new reality. Such visual language and message is often transmitted. Would you tell us the importance to include such idea into your works, and how do you weave them together into a whole?
The ambiguity is embedded in the medium of photography. I guess it reflects the difficulty we have in reading some aspects of life. Every situation can be interpreted in different ways and we all have our subjective point of view. So Photography does the same: it shows the relativity.
Every image contains countless hidden meanings that can come out by changing a context or by creating new associations. What I do is removing an element from its original background and replacing it with a new one. The displacement creates new narratives, often dreamy or surreal.
My aim is to show the possibilities. I don’t see or think in one way, and I believe art should show us new ways, as an aperture to the endless outcomes.
It’s always fascinating to see and know how artists work in realizing their projects. I know you handcraft most of your collages, am I right? Can you tell us the process of making your works? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Yes of course! My creative process is quite slow because it’s made of many steps and every step has its own ‘timing’. First is a picture: I usually take pictures when I travel. I am attracted by those people or objects that seem to be out of place, lonely, and tender in a way. Later, the pictures are manipulated printed, or enlarged. This is the phase where I experiment the most: with different sizes, materials, or ways of display. I always cut out elements from my pictures and see them as living beings. Like they are born in my hands. Sometimes they are re-photographed and become again a picture, and other times become installations in an exhibition space.
My inspiration comes from literature, poetry and cinema. And life experiences, of course. I love all the Hitchock’s and Lynch’s movies, I watch a lot of old movies and I love the poems by Mark Strand.
What was the biggest creative challenge you had to overcome in the past year?
Learning to let it be and never force the process. Leave my art to breathe and give each work its own time.
Thank you again for your time and everything! It’s been an utmost honour!
Discover more about Marta Galmozzi here!