Fausta Facciponte

Reflecting on the idea of “living in the material world, materialism, material pleasure and unlimited pursuit of spiritual values”, I am submitting a body still life photographs that engage with the message of transience and the brevity of life. Keeping a close dialogue with the Dutch vanitas of the 17th C, whose primary function was to remind the viewer of their temporary existence on earth, my work engages the vanitas.

The Dutch vanitas of the 17th C depict lavish arrangements of material goods set against a dark background and dramatically lit. Decadent earthly pleasures of food, flora and fauna are precariously arranged as symbols of death. Wine glasses tip, fruit rots, flowers wilt, a candle flame dissipates, a fly rests on a wheel of cheese, and a lemon rind spirals over the edge of a table suggesting a decaying movement and the passage of time.

In my Deconstructed Still Life Series (2016), single objects such as synthetic flowers, broken figurines, empty candy wrappers, chewed gum and the scrap of a sprinkle doughnut are set against the drama of a dark and solid ground. The objects have been scanned, not photographed and in contrast to the historical vanitas where objects are arranged on the surface of a table, each object in the Deconstructed Still Life Series is given its own space on a dark surface. While making these works, and keeping the surface of the scanner untidy, the natural accumulation of dust, dirt and smudges are amplified and suggest the fragility of life. Like the Dutch vanitas these works retain dramatic lighting, but it is achieved not through ambient light but through the mechanics of the scanner which illuminates what is close to the surface and darkens what is furthest. The light renders a seductive glow and a luminosity that suggests a slow movement and decay.

The Deconstructed Still Life engages the viewer into a contemporary vanitas, not through the historical lens of the vanitas, but through the familiarity of the objects. Unlike the historical works which invited the viewer to feast on the arrangement, the objects from the Deconstructed Still Life are remnants of waste – spoiled, broken, or contaminated they suggest the remains and what has been consumed. This body of work, suggest the limitation of material pleasure and remind the viewer that they occupy a similar space as other fallible objects on earth that fade, break and are suspended on a dark and fragile surface.

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Title: Antsy
Medium: Photograph
Size: 16 x 16 inches
Date: 2016

 

fausta facciponte 081.jpg

Title: Erase Me
Medium: Photograph
Size: 16 x 16 inches
Date: 2016

 

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Title: Insomnia
Medium: Photograph
Size: 16 x 16 inches
Date: 2016