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This Is Me Not Being You is a curatorial project which will be hosted for the first time at Superstudio 13 during the Women Fashion Week in Milano, from today until the 25th of February 2016. The exhibition will introduce seven international young fashion photographers: Felix Cooper, Dafy Hagai, Jai Odell, Winter Vandenbrink, Kiki Xue, Paolo Zerbini and Marie Zucker. Its curator, Micaela Flenda, gives us more details about the project and about the vanguardist conceptions in the new fashion photography.
What are we witnessing at this show? And how is it structured?
This is me not being you’s first exhibition aims to give a kaleidoscope of what the contemporary fashion photography is experiencing today. The curatorial line of the exhibition introduces a new twist to the perception of classic fashion photography, and is defined by the ability of these young photographers to overcome the “dress and model” iconography and thus be able to express themselves on issues which are more introspective such as identity, recognition, property of our body, sexuality, and the often cacophonous representation of the idea of beauty.
The exhibition will be set in an expositive route divided into sections that are connected to the styles of the different authors. A breaking and avant-garde setting will captivate the audience by fully immersing it into the photographs, and will enhance the amazing characteristics of each single artist.
Which is the main goal of the project? And which expectations do you have for the future?
This Is Me Not Being You’s aspiration is to support young photographers and promote a genuine aesthetic statute of fashion photography. It deals with the development and promotion of emerging international talents with the aim of becoming a meeting point between the art world and the fashion photography world.
All activities organized and promoted within this project are directed towards young photographers and aim at creating an appropriate expository setup, capable of highlighting their work and their voice. This Is Me Not Being You intends to become, in the future, a reference point where young fashion photographers can present their own researches. The idea is to organize exhibitions and other collateral events every year during Milan’s Fashion Week, dealing each time with different themes and experimenting new locations and settings.

You say the work of these photographers is very different, like a resume of what is currently happening in the world of fashion photography. Could you tell us which is the main common denominator beyond their generational context?
These photographers grew up in the economic and social crisis of the recent last years, living in the forefront of the “sea-change” of the fashion industry and the way of doing photography. In the early 2000 we experienced the advent of digital photography, and today, the return to analogue gear and feel. Historically, fashion photography aimed at showing styles and trends of the designers’ collections, with a primary commercial purpose, but today the young photographers want to express themselves through their aesthetic and their personal world. Less luxury, less appearance, more intimacy, more substance.
Tell us about the paths the new fashion photography language is following. Is it closer to contemporary art registers?
I think fashion photography, as a window on our contemporary culture, is using many art registers. One of the reasons why I decided to create this project is the will to link the language of fashion photography to artistic expression. New fashion photography has a huge power of representation and a great capacity to seduce the spectator, but at the same time it can be somewhat disturbing. There is a sort of presence through absence, visible through invisible, erasing or blurring the boundaries of reality. It really is a form of art, isn’t it?
Could it be related somehow with the historical crisis overview this young creatives have to face?
For sure, young photographers and creatives are living in an historical context of values’ crisis and deep transformation, and searching for a new identity which is not categorizing, but instead is fluid and evolving. Our social system has entered in a new era, in which once consolidated rules are broken. Einstein said: “The crisis is the best blessing that can happen to people and countries, because the crisis brings progress. Creativity is born from the distress, as the day is born from the dark night. It is in crisis that invention, discovery and large strategies are born. Whoever overcomes crisis, outdoes himself without being overcome.” Creativity is optimistic and knows that we are in a time of great revolution for the language of fashion photography and its expressions.
Do you think the contemporary fashion photography is contributing to a new way of understanding the new fashion expressions?
I think it is the most effective media that fashion uses for spreading its contents.

Sara Guerrero
Felix Cooper

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