Q&A with Travers Smith's CSR Art Programme artist Giulia Parlato
Tell us a little about yourself
I am an Italian artist based in London. My practice focuses on staged photography, and revolves around history, myths, and object-hood. I am is fascinated by the historical use of photography as a document of truth, specifically in its scientific and forensic uses.
I grew up in Palermo, in Sicily, a place full of history and different influences. When I was younger I used to draw a lot but it was only around my 16 that I really got into photography. I remember I used to carry Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes and a book on the history of photography to school and study photography instead of following lessons I wasn’t interested in. The teachers weren’t happy about it but they never took the book away from me. When I finished high school in 2012 I moved to London immediately and started studying photography.
Tell us more about your work
Diachronicles started while I was at the Warburg Institute, doing research for another project. Whilst I was there browsing through their library in the forgery section, I started to think about the relationship that history has with fiction. In particular, what happens when you disrupt the historical narrative, which is ultimately really fragile being a narration/a fabricated story in itself.
Diachronicles is an examination of the historical space, regarded as a fictional container where an apparent collection of evidences opens up to the fantastic. In this space, the attempt to reconstruct the past falls into phantasmal gaps, where things are generated, used, buried, unearthed, transported, and relocated.
How did it feel to be selected to take part in the CSR Art Programme?
It felt great. It’s a huge help being part of this programme and having the possibility to learn about different key aspects of the career I have chosen. It is a great programme and the Travers Smith community is friendly and supportive. We immediately felt part of the family.
How do you think being featured will help you in your emerging career?
It will help in different ways I’m sure. Even being able to reach and share my work with a different public from the one already included in my network, it is already a great help.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Life after RCA has been very positive and extremely productive. The work was from my degree show was exhibited at Gare Du Nord and the printed portfolio showed at the Grand Palais during Paris Photo 2019, as a winner of the Carte Blanche Award. The work got published amongst others on Fisheye, Source, Der Greif, Vogue Italia and in the British journal of photography more recently, as well as my first solo show opened in Italy.
Giulia was one of our 2019-20 artists. Read about more of our Art Programme artists here.