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VASA Front Page Exhibition

VASA Front Page Exhibitions presents the work of emerging and established photographers, video or sound artists.

Loredana Denicola

"Love, Sex and Relationships"

© Loredana Denicola, video: DoULoveYourself, trailer 

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Curator: Stefania Zorzi

Artist Statement:

Love, Sex and Relationships is a series of portraits and videos, which include questions to myself, to couples and to individuals who are, or were, in love, sex and relationships. Some of them I met in the streets, others were friends of friends, others I met online.
Nothing was planned.

Simply, I went to their home, introduced myself and my video photography project, put the camera on a tripod, pushed record.
I was there to listen. Through interviews, I enter an intimate space of memories, thoughts and feelings. We looked into each other’s eyes, heard each other’s voices, opened our hearts: we created a connection, we shared past love experiences, we related with respect embracing vulnerability.

I interviewed them individually, asking them the same questions I was asking myself at that time: does education, culture and religion confuse us? What do we fear? Do we choose how to live our life?
What is love? What is Sex? What is a Relationship? Do we love ourselves?

© Loredana Denicola, .L.S.R., TRAILER

Traditionally, a photographer searches for telling images of his or her subject. My approach has been, rather, to find out how the subjects of my project might portray themselves. I want to explore what it is like for others to be in a relationship.

I began this project in July 2015, while I was in a nine month abusive relationship. I certainly didn’t love myself if I allowed people to abuse me. We cannot heal ourselves from what we do not see. Photographs have power. For some, photography is art, for others a hobby or a job. But there’s another way - photography as therapy.

What is a photograph? Did I represent them, or myself?

© Loredana Denicola, L.S.R. Esperanza: trailer

What did I learn from ‘Love, Sex and Relationships’?

I learnt that self-love is a prerequisite for loving others. You can search everywhere for someone more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself. That person will not be found. You, yourself, as much as anybody else deserves your love and affection. Love cannot create bondage, love can never possess. This seems strange - we have been taught that love happens in a romantic relationship, so we have become accustomed to that idea.
Is it actually true?

I wanted to investigate. That is why my project is about self-portraiture and self-examination: one’s own story.

© Loredana Denicola, L.S.R Giulia&Diana trailer

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Curator note:
Loredana Denicola collected 40 hours of interviews that she used to create a video documentation (of six hours), 18 photographs in black and white, a monologue: "Do you love yourself?" ( ) and a photography book, still in progress co-curated with Steve Bisson editor. 6 trailers and 17 photographs are presented on the VASA Front Page Exhibition.

The photographer started this project during an abusive relationship. Loredana says “My relationship with my ex-boyfriend reminded me of my relationship with my father, when I was a teenager - that kind of impotence. Life was confronting me again with psychological, physical and emotional abuse, but this time I was conscious of it.” And because Loredana was conscious of the abuse, she could use the camera to investigate the theme of relationships, love and sex, to understand better her situation and herself.

Through this project and the meetings with other people, the camera becomes a means of self-investigation. At the end of this process the therapeutic power of photography is revealed. Loredana Denicola says: “The photographic process turned out to be an effective therapeutic tool that helped me understand that what I was missing was, indeed, self-love.”.

The power of Loredana’s “Love, Sex and Relationships” project is sensitivity, vulnerability, intimate investigation that becomes a way to better understand ourselves, our reality, our choices. Loredana Denicola uses photography as a deep exploration of the human being and for this project “the goal is to start an open conversation on abusive power and control in relationships and how self-love is essential to our own personal growth”.

© Stefania Zorzi

© Loredana Denicola, L.S.R_WenWei&Valeria trailer

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About the artist

I am not my physical, transitory, illusory body,
I am not my emotions, variable, chameleon-like,
I am not the mind, unstable, separative,
I am a point of fire, eternal, immortal, perfect."

Man is a meeting point between spirit and matter. 

Roberto Assiagioli

I like to say I use photography as a form of healing.  ​My work is a process of self-understanding that develops through intimate conversations with people; conversations that employ images, text and videos. Through photography I am able to re-examine everything: who I am, what I think, what I feel, my education, society, religion.

I work with people I encounter on the street, or online.   Rather than using my camera as a barrier or separation between myself and the subject, I share control of the medium - where, how and when I use my camera - giving freedom of expression to the encounter. 
They present themselves as they are, as they wish, without any imposition. By allowing myself to be physically and emotionally vulnerable, I encourage people to entrust me with their vulnerabilities. 

The final documentation is true, raw, real, sincere, transparent in the present moment, sometimes appalling.  Do we like what we see?  The camera is a mirror, the observer becomes the observed, the mirror the person reflected.

My art is an investigation into the power of trust in human relationships.  Can our minds free themselves from habits they have cultivated: from unhelpful opinions, judgments, fears, attitudes, values? What is real? 

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© Loredana Denicola DoULoveYourself, trailer 2


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