Subject Matter Art


Subject Matter in conversation with: our artist Alice Marinelli (Part 2)

In this second chapter of her story, our artist Alice Marinelli tells us a bit more about her next moves and future projects , but also about the people who influenced her as a photographer and as a passionate art history student…


Subject Matter: What inspired you to create Spectrographies?


Alice: After having used photography to explore myself, to dig deep, searching for what exists beyond the surface, I decided to look at my surroundings with the same aim. I started to observe the world with new eyes, and to represent it using the same photographic technique that I had experimented in the self-portraits. At the same time I found a source of inspiration in 20th century philosophy which raised questions about the inner activity of the individual subject, about his feelings, and about his identity in relation with the world he inhabits. My series Spectrographies owes its name to a chapter in Jacques Derrida’s book Ecographies of Television. Derrida’s philosophy based on the concept of deconstruction made me think more deeply about the opposition between visibility and invisibility, sensitivity and insensitivity. It made me meditate on our nature, on our being at the same time something material and concrete, and something ephemeral and spiritual. This is what I wanted to express in my Spectrographies, our continuous mediation between a desire to have a visible, defined identity, and a tendency towards introspection, the feeling that within us there is a singular, inner world that we are not able to define and that is constantly changing and escaping our understanding.



Subject Matter: Describe to us the process of creating one of your stunning Spectrography images.


Alice: Creating a Spectrography requires a long process of observation combined with a prompt readiness to shoot when, quoting Bresson, the decisive moment happens, and – why not? – a good degree of good chance. I spend entire days walking around the city and observing people. I choose interesting subjects, definite identities, who stand still, and I shoot while other people are passing by, becoming fading images, deconstructed, vanishing entities. Technically speaking, it requires a careful choice of the shooting time. It needs a long exposure that allows the walking figures to fade, but at the same time it cannot be too long in order to freeze the subject that doesn’t move, just a matter of practice and countless attempts!



Subject Matter: Are you currently working on any new projects?


Alice: Yes, I have just started a new project indeed! I am trying to focus on objects now, and I am trying to “dematerialize” them through zooming effects. I want to create almost abstract images that convey the effect of fading images, of fragments of things seen and stored in our mind, but whose sharpness slowly fades, turning reality and concreteness into imagination. It is still a work in progress, but I am really curious and excited to experiment again and to see what will come about!


Subject Matter: Tell us what you love about London?


Alice: Every time I came to London alone for long stays I challenged myself, and I ended up growing exponentially both professionally and personally. I had to face many obstacles, and I cannot hold back that many times it has been extremely hard. Yet, I have never gave up because I have always met wonderful friends who supported me and gave me thousands of reasons to be happy and do my best, and the Subject Matter team are among these splendid people who made me love every single moment in London. I have always been welcomed by the warmth and love of people who really cared about helping me to make the most of these experiences and to make them memorable. To me, this city is a place where I found my way, and where I started walking on my own feet, but always surrounded by the positivity and the encouragement of those who have strongly believed in me.

You can see more of Alice’s extraordinary work on her own Instagram page and, of course, on the Subject Matter website

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