water & art, water culture

G. La Spada – Portrayal

1 Comment 23 June 2010

G. La Spada – Portrayal

Born in Palermo in 1974, Giuseppe La Spada, a world-renowned Italian photographer and art director (http://www.glsdesign.it/) now lives in the effervescent city of Milan.  Winner of the 2007 prestigious Webby Award – the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet Giuseppe La Spada – Webby Awards (New York)he graduated from the European Institute of Design (IED) where he won the award for the best career in Visual Arts. His most recent work is a unique collaboration with the incomparable Academy Award-, Grammy-, and Golden Globe-winning Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto “Mono No Aware” – http://www.mono-no-aware.org .

The famous Japanese composer and the Italian photographer created an art project on the net called “ Mo No Aware”. This work of art hopes to raise media and public awareness in regards to the radioactive contamination of entire villages in Japan (especially Rokkasho).  This project consists of 3 narrative depicted using the latest web mediums such as “Flash”, an experimental interface,  and online videos. According to La Spada, the strong images and striking collages of powerful colors are “metaphors, fears, and points of view in regards to a broken world”.(Source: http://www.digicult.it/digimag/article.asp?id=1076).

This collaboration is part of Sakamoto’s larger commitment to protest  Japan’s Rokkasho nuclear fuel  reprocessing plant. According to the official website, “the sea and the lands of many European countries were contaminated with radioactivity from Japanese spent fuel and a large quantity of plutonium and radioactive waste still remains in France and the UK”.  (Source: http://stop-rokkasho.org/information/)

The two artists want to remind us that mankind needs to take responsibility for the damage it has voluntarily and recklessly brought to our planet, the damage that radioactivity causes to the land and wildlife, and of course, the impact on human beings, which is something we simply cannot ignore, erase or forget.  In the interview he gave to Digicult.it, Giuseppe La Spada emphasizes the use of technology as a powerful means of communication. The Internet has a rapid, effective and immediate quality that can replicate the speed of spreading information mouth to ear.

This multi sensorial and vivid project reminds us of the irreversibility of damage to nature; incidents like the BP oil spill will leave an undeniable scar on our planet. Some mistakes cannot be erased, which reminds us once again not take our planet for granted. (Check out at: http://www.mono-no-aware.org).

“A Fleur”

Giuseppe La Spada’s commitment to environmental causes denotes his appreciation and aesthetic sensibility towards nature in all its facets and shades. His newest work of visual art, “A Fleur” is an innovative and insightful collage of music, photography, design and video (in collaboration with the musician Con_cetta – Giuseppe Cordaro). Through  various mediums of communication  he blends and meshes, he  gives life to a unique creation, a synthesis of love and life presented through the lense of water as a unifying element. In an interview by Sibilla Panerai for ArtKey Magazine, Giuseppe La Spada  tells us: “I have always been fascinated by love and the struggle in searching for a loved one, the relationship between sufferance and creativity. If I have to imagine love, I picture it as a complete surrendering to the other person, like when you dive into water and you let go of all your inhibitions, regardless of the consequences. Under water, one feels the annulment of all spatial and temporal dimensions, a feeling that is encountered when one is in love”.

 (Source: http://www.teknemedia.net/magazine_detail.html?mId=7354)

This idea to plunge underwater in the desire to project a different perspective on life and love is evidenced by his unique and mystical photographs. When looking at the photographs,  the feeling of being immersed under water creates a loss for words where blurry visions capture the mind and soul.  “A Fleur” presents water as a means for soul-searching, offering us a therapeutic oppportunity. The water element is combined in a harmonious fashion with a metaphorical floral element: the tulip. From his description of the project, we learn that “in western culture, the tulip is a symbol of inconstancy, while in the oriental culture, it represents perfect love”.  (Source: http://www.afleur.net/).  The flower acts as the key to enter an underwater universe of self-reflection.  Using a unique combination of natural elements, the photographer explores the phenomenon of “air” colliding with water, creating underwater air bubbles. This sensation of “breathlessness” is  a feeling that according to La Spada depicts the reality of our restless and chaotic society where most of us forget to stop and take a deep breath of fresh air once in a while.

Giuseppe La Spada’s amazing art work intrigued us and we wanted to know more about “A Fleur”,   so we contacted him.” Our exclusive interview follows:

Q: In an interview you gave to www.teknemedia.net,  you said “for many years, I have been finding a lot of answers from water and in water”. What kind of relationship do you have with water from both a professional (as photographer) and a personal point of view?

A: From the professional point of view, it is  an ongoing challenge, since water is such an elusive and changeable element, in which  with just a few variables, even the appearance becomes dramatically different from circumstance to circumstance. As a person born by the sea, I feel the lack inside myself and I feel a return to my roots, without forgetting that we originate from water anyway.

Q: In your work “A Fleur”, you say that love could be a simple flower made of paper or cloth. The tulip image as perfect love (in Eastern cultures) is placed in contrast with the symbol of the inconstant.  If you need to immerse yourself to see love, why did you choose to drown these flowers under water? The photos could allude that perfect love is also necessarily inconstant?

A: Jean Vigo’s mention is only to bind to the phenomenon of underwater research. With the tulip as element ,we evolve to the dual vision  of “East-West”. While in the West, we want at all costs to possess things, here is the obsessive quest to possess the tulip, in the Orient, we  come into “possession” of a thing by contemplating it. Perhaps that is why in the society where we live,  we try to label or understand a thing as love,  while the essence is more alive in the quest rather  than in obtaining or retaining something unmanageable.

With this post, for a short moment we set  aside the problems of water scarcity or water conservation in order to present a completely different aspect  of this unique liquid. Water is not only a vital resource for the survival of our planet, but also a majestic and fascinating liquid that has always inspired artistic expression. Artists from all over the world have been inspired by the immensity of the ocean and the feeling of fear, curiosity and breathlessness it brings to its spectators. Giuseppe La Spada, a visual artist of world renown, has created a unique visual project where water becomes a source for soul-searching.





WaterWideWeb - who has written 108 posts on WaterWideWeb.org.

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  1. fab says:

    fabolous! real love for water. Great artist

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