Venice seen from a smartphone

Anyone who has rattled a social network bulletin board over the past decade has surely become aware of two paradigms: That not all photos taken with a professional camera are works of art (as evidenced by the photo albums taken between friends with Canon in 2010 and then uploaded to Facebook) and that all those uploaded to Instagram with a cell phone camera are immortalized, be it a photo of a kitten, a salad ordered from Glovo Express, or a selfie in front of a slightly dirty mirror. The astral conjunction that allows a photo taken with the phone to become a work of art is rare but believable when the device is a Xiaomi 12 Pro and Lady Tarin is holding it. The Rimini-based, Milan-based photographer has been making her shots, which are tender investigations into women and their sexuality on film, recognizable for years, as shown in her latest photo book blameless published for Nfc Edizioni. His recordings have been exhibited in museums around the world and a documentary on Sky Arte is dedicated to them next girland appeared at the end of a collection of Seletti mugs.

Before this year, Lady Tarin had never taken photos with her cell phone, “just these pictures of kittens that you upload to Instagram and that’s it”, she almost only shot some advertising campaigns digitally, “like the one for Giorgio Armani in 2020”. When they put one in her hand Xiaomi 12 Pro Striking the pose of a reporter, exploring all the possibilities of the digital, she filmed Venice in the last days of preparation for the Biennale, where she happened to meet the friends she always photographs, then other new moments that she photographed in a very different way, during the day and at night, some happy and striking a beautiful pose, others exhausted, in bed, accustomed to the camera, or awkward, roaming between the pavilions. Above all, we meet in front of the Italy Pavilion, of which Xiaomi is the sponsor. The recordings are now on display at the Merignana Arte Project Room, a small exhibition space in Venice, under the project of art stories, where they will remain on display until June 6th.

There is a surprising continuity with your personal project exploring women’s sexuality, given the Biennale’s theme chosen by Cecilia Alemani, The milk of dreamswhich in a way aims to recapture women artists who have been forgotten by history.
I don’t know if it was intended by the client, coincidence or fate, but it was certainly even more special for me to be there at the time and to rediscover many artists who were completely ignored in life or only rediscovered very late, such as the Surrealists , to whom she dedicated an entire capsule in the central pavilion. I also found it incredibly circular, this strong female presence at the Biennale in continuity with my project. Then, by chance, here in Venice I also met some of the muses that I always photograph, who were also involved in the preparation, so I photographed them immediately. It was originally intended to be a simple report on the Biennale and the preparations for the Italian Pavilion, but in the end it was closely linked to my personal project.

Why is it important to you to always photograph the same people?
What’s important to me is the relationship to the subject, and over time I realized that by photographing the same women, I could express my idea of ​​the sensuality of women, when you belong and live. Over time we change and at a certain point I realized that I was more interested in following the path of some women, which is essential to make the message even stronger, because it gets stronger when between me and there is an understanding of the photographed subject.

Is it a bond that you were able to maintain here, even though the means of expression was the mobile phone?
My personal project on the female nude is all in the film because I believe skin should be photographed on skin. This project is very different, the people are somehow placed in the context of the Biennale and its events, so I think the technique was perfect for the situation. The Xiaomi is a very high quality medium, it can shoot in raw and has a really strong night mode. At the same time, it’s invisible and light, which is how I prefer it. It is important to me that the medium is not immediately noticed and is as practical as possible. Also, I can say that Xiaomi has not allowed me to have a moment that I regret not having immortalized: every photographer has that unused photo that has stayed in our heads because at that moment we did not have the camera behind us . And it did it without compromise as it could be a low quality photo taken with any other mobile phone.

If you usually shoot on film and are therefore used to inaccuracies and blurs, what effect have you seen in the final rendering of the photos with the Xiaomi, so sharp and perfect?
In my opinion, the point is to anticipate the final surrender. Just as you can choose between acrylic or oil in painting, so in photography there are two different languages ​​between film and digital and you have to think about how the photo should look. For example, I don’t like the imperfections in the digital, like the blurring or the intentionally created grain. I like it when the image is very soft or blurry or has those film imperfections because it’s quite natural as it’s a by-product of the physical medium, which I always feel is necessary to let speak. On the other hand, I demand from a light device that you can only use for phone calls and that is therefore always behind you, that it exploits its many possibilities. I was surprised when I saw them printed, the resolution, the colors: I haven’t changed anything. It was natural to do an art project when the quality is so high.

Has it happened to you too, taking a hundred thousand shots with your phone and then choosing the good one? With the phone, you kind of lose the idea of ​​the perfect moment.
Taking a hundred shots is something that non-professional photographers do, in my opinion, who instead manage to take few but good photos because they have a trained eye to find the perfect moment. You obviously shoot more digitally than film. This time it’s not that I’ve photographed the same subject many times, but I’ve really taken more photos than I’m used to, in full reportage mood, considering that in addition to the means of expression, another challenge for me was a report. I wanted to resume the dynamism of those days of preparation, the day, the night, the performances at any time of the day, the different pavilions, all the people who were there, in short a chaos. I think I have returned the energy that emanated from people and events at that time: after all, the desire to return to life.

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