For aamora’s eighth interview we’ve asked Mario Scattoloni to answer our questions on photography.
Life´s like watching the dirt gathering around the window pane. One day you wake up wondering what exactly are the tales behind the specks of time that got under your skin in thefirst place. For me photography is a bit like those layers constantly gathering history (past present and future) which I love trying to discover visually for myself.
I both love and hate those damned things. For me its how we use them that really matters most. If you´ve got one, its a great tool which you can always have with you and sometimes it´s all you´ve got. So use it and do so with great purpose and an eye for creative expression in whatever it is that you do.
Digital v. Film – still a topic?
It never was just a passing fancy for most photographers to begin with. While for others,it´s something rather like the difference between a retro look versus that oh-so-now-hipsterKOOL HD plastic digital feel. Really, as long as the results are interesting yet not mediocre and pale by comparison. In other words its kind of like exploring the possibility to create images in the now, and why, how, what, where and when regardless of your medium of choice. Does society go around wondering or asking this of other artists who paint, draw or sculpt etc ? A medium after all is just a means to an end so does it really matter in the end, whether it´s digital or film? Personally, I think not, if the work stands on its own terms to the scrutiny of time.
Is the equipment important?
Never, as they are just tools with which we arm ourselves, regardless of what brand or stature in size. It´s how we implement those tools to create with. What is important to me is first and foremost a way of being that liberates one´s vision as part of the creative process, allowing for the capability to obtain a personal approach, regardless of a fixed style. As far as my own creative process is concerned, it is how those images are gathered and/or contextualized and perhaps the reason behind why that particular subject matter is of such importance and not the equipment we use.
How did you learn to photograph?
Literally on the streets and within the school of many very hard knocks. And then there was my early and brief affair with photo-journalism.
Are photographs “taken” or “made”?
I believe that at times they are made to be taken and taken to be made.
Is photography art?
It was that last time I looked in on a museum exhibition. Unless, of course, it has fallen from grace yet again and I missed something. However, perhaps the commodification and ease with which we as a society take pictures today has put this whole issue very much into question once more as to photography´s status as an art form. This is especially true, within the parametres of what consists of the medium within that ivory tower art world. Photography´s abundant saturation has equally and undoubtedly proliferated a modicum of mediocrity. As an artform, it has perhaps taken a bullet within the context of social media. Its doomsday is somewhat like the snake that eats it´s own tail. Or are we just seeing another rennaissance that is apparently at play as we speak? I really believe that no one knows for sure and time and technology will be the sleuth who discovers what is art or isn´t within photography.
Where do you go to look at photographs?
They certainly are highly unavoidable don´t you think? As they so easily lurk about in the most insidious of places. We do after all live in an incredibly image saturated society. So, I do feel that it is unavoidable to look around and not have one´s eyes land on images that either do or don´t strike a chord within us on some primal emotional or intellectual level. So, in essence there really is no escaping these pesky creatures either virtually or in the material world as they are literally everywhere. Unless you live in the countryside and you don´t log on to the ¨www¨ or turn on a TV set, it is perhaps impossible to escape such abundance that currently floods the world we now inhabit. Mostly, however, I look at photographs as the world flows through my lens.
Mario, an Italo-Canadian photographer (gafer, cameraman), has been living in Barcellona since 1998. He has a BFA from York University,Toronto and his photographic works have been curated in a variety of galleries and museums, magazines and web magazines in Canada, United States, Asia and Europe. The majority of his works are featured in the international art collections of both the private and corporate sectors.
Mario’s work can be viewed here, and here and his Flickr pages, Redbubble, and JPG pages.