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Interview with photographer Anna Adamo

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Anna Adamo is an Italian photographer currently based between Milan and Paris.

She approached photography when she was very young. Her photography shows the world as it is, ‘BAM’, with no filter. She just got back from a three month trip to South America. We caught up with Anna to discuss her work, her creative process and her favourite collaborations.

How did you get into photography?

I don’t really know how I got into photography, I think it’s more like photography got into me in some ways… it’s something that goes hand in hand with my life. My mum gave me a digital camera for my fourteenth birthday and since then I started to photograph everything I was doing; at home with her, out with my mates, first trips, gigs, without knowing the whys and hows.

What’s the first photograph you remember seeing?

The first photos I saw and that probably have always inspired me are my family photo albums. I always thought that those pictures were amazing, and I still look at those sometimes. I like to open those albums, look at the faces, poses, unknown relatives, weird cakes,… all that spontaneity makes them unique.

What inspires you as an artist?

I’m inspired by the day, by the fact that I don’t have a routine. Having to always be with people in different situations gives me lots of experiences I can take inspiration from. Before taking pictures I think it’s important to live great experiences. I take inspiration from everything that is inexplicable and incredible – the more that things and people don’t make sense, the more I like them.

Do you ever get stuck with your creativity?

Life and photography always travel together, so when there’s a dark moment in my life, I find it in photography as well. For me, it’s not a creative process, but it’s rather about accumulating experiences. It’s hard to explain, I swear, but I don’t have a schedule of projects I want to do or anything, I usually wake up in the morning, brush my teeth, put my shoes on and go outside and then what ever happens, I happen to photograph it.

What’s the best collaboration you’ve done?

The Paris exhibition with the Casual Gabbers collective. I exhibited my gabbers photos at the Ephemere Point in May 2014!

Your photography is not dreamy, it seems to show the world as it is. What can you tell us about it?

I like to lose myself. There’s a quote from Annie HallI have some trouble between fantasy and reality” – for me it’s exactly the same, but I don’t think it’s a problem.

What’s your relationship with your family like? I noticed your mum is one of your favourite subjects.

My relationship with my mother is special. I mean, there’s not great communication, but there’s a never ending love, I think I’m obsessed with her and by the fact that’s she’s my only point of reference. My mom is 65 and after my brother’s death about 10 years ago she completely changed and our roles reversed, I was looking after her when she was depressed, without really knowing what was going on. I had just finished secondary school and had to figure out high school, but everything in my life was put on the back burner. I remember I was so scared when she was hanging her laundry on the balcony, because I was terrified that she might have killed herself without thinking. She has been and still is my only muse.

Do you travel a lot?

I travel often, always for that thing of “collecting experiences”, I just came back from a three-month trip to South America and now I’m completely broke! When I find some cash to develop my films I hope I can do something with all the material I collected.

Do you have any exhibitions or project planned?

I’m working on “Bakeca”, a project I made with my friend Marco Valli. It started in 2015, it’s about people exposing themselves on the “’bakecaincontri.it” website. We’re preparing a book that will be released before the end of this year.

Any artists you’d recommend us to check?

Sooooooo I’m gonna tell you these photographers with their books:

Moonshine – Bertien Van Manen
Winterreise – Luc Delahaye
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity – Mike Brodie
Imperial Courts – Dana Lixenberg
My last day of Seventeen – Doug Dubois
The Great Grain from Pain Hell – Luca Baioni