COMPOSE THE VOID
Written by Martita Vial Della Maggiora for Archdaily
When we talk about natural or man-made spaces, the void immediately comes into play.
This is understood as that matter that is untouched and that allows living the experience of inhabiting. The photography of the artist Simone Bossi narrates the qualities of the space creating atmospheres that allow a new reading on the emptiness.
His work, through the intangible, challenges us and takes us to our personal and subjective experiences. It evokes a subtlety and warmth that awakens the senses, prompting us to reflect through a discovery of the sublime. His vision invites contemplation, thus transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary.
What is it for you to capture the emptiness experience?
The weight of the emptiness is what I am interested in. I have been always fascinated by the idea that emptiness is never empty at all, if you look at insistently, but the space where life and emotions can be projected into. By getting closer and closer to its essence, I am trying to reveal something I feel but I am still not able to define it. In this way, emptiness helps me to activate an introspective process I will understand, if necessary, only later in the future. Sharing this experience represents only one of the infinite possibilities to manifest a human being, different for each of us. I like to think that there is no need to define the idea of emptiness but what I see will be something unclearly still open enough to leave in the other eyes what they need to see. Emptiness suddenly becomes extremely powerful and a photograph becomes the beginning of a relationship between me, the space and the viewer; a kind of relationship that will flow in any unpredictable and personal direction.
How do you produce that kind of approach to limit this emptiness?
Space is space. A photograph of that space is something else. Being there or see it through the eyes of someone else are very different experiences, both extremely subjective. Our background, our culture, our imaginary, and even our childhood makes everything different and special. As I have learned in my own way, we do see only what we do know and consequently, we do see what we are unconscious, until we reach the next level. Rather than to limit, I would say I prefer to decide what to do not limit into a photograph, what to avoid to be consumed, what does not need to be said. For the viewer, the space will not be the real space probably, but if I am good enough, it will be even more his own magic space.
How do you manage to transmit the visual path that reflects your experience in the architectural work?
I have been always less interested in a single iconic and spectacular picture of architecture. I do more appreciate the calmness behind a slow work in series or better to say, sequences. As I do approach a space I do have the privilege of an extremely reduced speed walkthrough. As you said, eventually, it’s more like a slow path where I gradually discovered a space, feeling each little step I do and any little light variations. I am trying to photograph more what I feel than what I see, focusing on my body and mind reactions during this intense performance. Furthermore, my state of mind and my mood play the role: if I am nostalgic or insecure or simply my sense of aesthetic is still looking for the moment I match the space, this will be reflected in what I am doing and will influence my direction. At the end is such an intense path of intimacy in an architectural scenario, and photography only its consequence.
How do you show the human body within this emptiness?
Even if in my images the human figure is often avoided, I am trying to intensify his presence through is absence. By working on the feeling of being there, is aimed to give directly to the viewer the choice to proceed and partially to complete with his own human presence the void left by the apparent absence.
Which are your intentions when you go through an architectural piece?
I don’t know and I like this fact. But, I do know what is not my intention at least: I don’t want to be objective. I have never been interested in describing a project to show how it is in terms of construction or whatever. I think being objective is just impossible. I embrace the fact that a photograph for me starts to be subjective in the precise moment I decide to press the shutter. It’s always a filtered version of reality, a comprehension that turns into an interpretation, that sometimes passes through something we can not control or necessarily define it. I do not look for any definitive answer: sometimes revelations have both their lights and their shadows at the same time and if I am lucky enough, I will be (only) close to them.
Through your artistic work, how do you reinterpret what it is for you the space?
I see the space as a fragmented series of moments. Through the recomposition of these pieces, I am trying to construct a relationship between the memory and the time revealing all those little magic things that turn a place into a space. I like to think about how and what is able to introduce new roots in our imaginary. These moments of unclear reconstruction will be the closest idea of that specific space inside each of us.