After studying philosophy at university, Claudia Corrent, a 39-year-old Italian artist, turned to photography. “To be honest, I was fascinated from the moment my father bought me a camera. Ever since I was a child I have always found images fascinating. I remember rearranging the photos from our family albums when I was younger”, she remembers.
First interested by photo reports, she then turned to landscape photography and archive images. Two aesthetics she brings together with a deeply humanist vision. In Per te, per ricordarti spesso (For you, to remember her often, ed.), a hybrid project mixing past and present, symbolism and realism, Claudia Corrent places her subjects in a timeless environment. “It all began when I was given the photographs of a woman named Mirta, born in the 1920s in Trento, just a few kilometres away from where I live”, the artist recalls. At the time, she was also collecting pictures from a young lady named Doris. Treasures she found in flea markets. “While I hardly knew anything about the lives of these women, I could imagine their existences, comparing them to different families”, she tells us. An investigation enabling her to reunite all those strangers in the same story.
Three generations thus meet at the heart of Per te, per ricordarti spesso – a phrase written at back of one of the collected images: Mirta and Doris, the photographer’s aunt and father, and her cousins and sisters. A complex project intertwining the notions of family, memory and imagination. “It is a sort of mindscape, a landscapes of the mind if you will, which have to do with my imagination and my feelings”, says Claudia Corrent, who perceives archive images to be timeless creations. To her, pictures, far from being futile or fragile, become powerful objects, icons living a life of their own.
Such precious creations they are able to close the faults of our past. “This series was born from a personal need to fix some things in my life. A few years ago I discovered the Jewish concept of Tikkun, which means: to mend” the photographer explains. A metaphorical time travel, erasing the mistakes of our past self. By altering those archive images, Claudia Corrent invents an alternate truth and changes history. She builds a universe where archaism and modernity collide, erasing the demons of “before” to paint a peaceful “after”, an almost reachable ideal.
© Claudia Corrent