Awareness, freedom, affirmation of identity and inclusion of diversity are some of the values connected to the new standards of contemporary fashion. Fashion is a complex industry, made of great contradictions, but it is also a fundamental mediator of expression for pop culture, especially for the youngest. A powerful and fascinating evidence of what has happened so far and what will happen tomorrow. Regarding these considerations, what are your Higher Standards?
I would say that they are more or less the ones you mentioned above, I add social equity, the utopian goal of a society where everyone has the same access possibilities. I believe that improving the society in which we live begins inextricably from thinking about our role in it and which working sector we are a part of. A very important thing for me is not to feed discriminatory mechanisms through my practice. Accepting work on inadequate budgets, for example, is one of these; it is a mechanism that favors access to the profession to those coming from a medium-high social class and therefore possess the economic resources that allow them to take under-paid commissions for the purpose of self-assertion. This is a very individualistic way of practicing the profession, which makes society less equitable and inclusive. If then it is followed by an online communication that instead points out a story of them as close to the struggle to defend the weakest, it becomes even sneaky.
“The true authenticity of photographs for me is that they usually manipulate and lie about what is in front of the camera, but never lie about the intentions behind the camera” – Wolfgang Tillmans
In an age where anything can be faked, we increasingly feel the urgency to find something to trust, something to invest our commitment and desire of sharing. How much does this affect your artistic practice?
I would say that it has no influence, I have always been and am still very free from the stereotypes we are talking about. I have always worked outside of them – I make fiction by profession – my images have no relationship with objective reality, they are therefore authentic in themselves I think.
Desire of inclusion and curiosity towards different cultures are certainly a useful tool for a deeper understanding of the contemporary world. Which role, or responsibility, does the creative world play in the discussion about inclusion?
Well creating representations of the world means creating the world itself, I feel a lot of responsibility in this sense, I am very careful to represent a wide variety of human beings in my images, I was trained in this sense as I work most with the American market. It is a thought that I always have, an aspect on which I am always vigilant.
We live in the age of the obsessive self-promotion in the social media, particularly on Instagram. How do you feel about participating in this world of cyber identity?
In my most natural way, I spontaneously post my work, because self-promotion is part of my profession. I like it when you create an interaction around it, but I don’t like and categorically reject the idea of sharing and attracting public with my private life and sharing more intimate experiences.
I believe it is a somewhat dangerous mechanism that can bring and share more information than we would like without really realizing it. I realize that it is not easy to have to use social networks a lot for work and avoid becoming a bit obsessed with the narration of oneself, but I believe that we should reflect on and put up stakes.