Can Dagarslani

1. Aesthetics – The study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. How has aesthetic evolved over the years and how has this influenced fashion photography? How do you approach aesthetics in your works?

I focus on a balanced sense of serenity, a touch of sensitive realism and a kind of knot of contrast pastel volumes to complete the slightly bizarre, yet equally intriguing stories. My architectural expertise definitely has had an influence on the space-object analysis. The perception of the space, the perspectives and the layers become a journey for me while creating aesthetic compositions. The geometry of the space itself plays a key role, becoming as much a character in the visual narrative as the models themselves.

2. Identity – “We contain multitudes” wrote Walt Whitman, referring to the fact that we see ourselves in different ways depending on different contexts. Nowadays, gender and sexuality have been explored in many ways – art, cinema and of course fashion – and fashion photography has been perceived as a means to translate and picture actual reality. How do you reflect identity in your works? How has the perception of our own bodies changed in recent years? How has it been influenced by media and by fashion itself?

In my latest series I portrayed mostly two-person couples, and making them both an integral parts, together with the diverse architectural elements. The search for ‘identity’ is the point of origin of these series – Two identical and inseparable people, dressed and positioned in the same way, who would seem almost static like dolls. The unusual sensation of synchronized faces staring out at the viewer will entice them to initially search for physical similarities before realizing that the two characters are not actually related. Two models as two faces of one model, so I expose the similarities and explore the differences of them, through the perception of symmetry.

3. Beauty in Fashion – “The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express” said Francis Bacon. Fashion photography once depicted a perfect kind of beauty, almost false in its perfection. Today, fashion photography focuses on imperfection and peculiar traits. Which is your relationship with beauty? How has the language of photography mutated in the past years? 

First of all I question myself how can I give flesh and bones to my ideas, while at the same time managing to draw the audience’s undivided attention. In my work the subjects look more like grotesque sculptures and I like to emphasize the power of the beauty by focusing on the relation between two models in an intriguing way.

4. Sociology – The study of human behaviour. How is photography capable of picturing social changes? Is fashion photography a way to picture cultural changes within society? How have social and cultural changes influenced your works?

Stills from an old Nouvelle Vague movie (like the ones you desperately try to find the murderer and end up looking in a mirror); a long-lost lyric from a Morrissey song that you obsessively shout out every time you feel the coolness of your existence break out loud into the open, or even a poem from an unknown voice of the Soviet Union, about a woman who hid her feelings and loved her lover, till death did they apart. All become perplexing parts in the fascinating puzzle of how a silent image can have so much more to say.

5. Perceptive Variations: an exhibition about identity, gender, change. How have your works expressed this feeling? How do you express your personal background in your work?

My love for urbanism and architecture is evident in my organized quirkiness and my (sometimes sarcastic) game of the human form. Human relations, the fragility of our social boundaries.. love, identities – and all these other drugs – are some of my preferable thematic, that blend into a vortex of what can easily be described as the new normal. And perhaps at the end of the day, that’s his biggest asset, documenting and exposing the limits of our generation’s “New Normal”, complete with everything that makes a precious, deep and intimate abnormality.

by Giovanna Pisacane