Cristina Rizzi Guelfi is a self-taught photographer born in the Swiss Confederations. After Uni he lived here and there focusing on his passion for images that he saw in his mind and wanted to recreate by slowly honing his skills in both digital and analog photography and visual art. Now based in Sardinia, he continues to move by promoting his work. He has had group exhibitions in Rome, Milan, Turin, and Paris and some of his works are currently on display in various locations. His work is linked to an ambiguous and cinematic creation of images that borders on the real and the fantastic. His approach to photography provokes the contemplation and reconfiguration of clichés through the playful revelation of the bizarre and mysterious.
“We need a face [?]”
Selfies have become a storytelling tool, simple and immediate, but full of meaning. In an increasingly frenetic and immersive communication space, it is no coincidence that selfies have an increasingly important relevance. It is a kind of return to origins, made up of a representative language that is easy to use. Through selfies, in fact, you have the opportunity to show yourself to the world exactly in the way you want to be seen, or to make you perceive the sensations of a given moment only from the expression of the face, selecting precisely the information to be communicated. The series “we need a face [?]” Was born to make fun of the widespread practice of obsession with selfies, replacing faces with photographs that were purchased from a bank of images. Most come from the US archives from the 1950s and 1960s. The question mark between the brackets is intended because it asks two questions: 1) Is it necessary to photograph your face? On the one hand, no, because body dysmorphism is a psychological disorder, typical of our society based on appearance and self-image, which causes in some individuals a continuous dissatisfaction and creates in the individual a conviction of having imaginary defects, related to your physical appearance, so much so that it becomes an obsession. 2) But without photographing the face, how can you understand the expression? This is why Arthur Schopenhauer’s phrase “A person’s face, as a rule, says more, and more interesting things than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this person’s thoughts and aspirations ”
I’m reminded of a passage from Kate Zambreno’s novel, Green Girl: ‘Look at me / (don’t look at me) / Look at me / (don’t look at me) / Look at me don’t look at me look at me look at me don’t look at me don’t.’ It seems that however private we may be, we all struggle with a conflicted need for visibility, with a ‘being looked at’ we might both resent and crave. How do you negotiate your own need for privacy and solo practice versus public recognition?
To view more of Cristina Rizzi Guelfi’s work please visit his website.