Clara Melchiorre's photography explores the relationship between body and space. Her work aims to blend architecture and the language of fashion. We've asked the Milan-based photographer a few questions about her process, what artists she's researching and books she's reading during this period of isolation.
En Ville: Your work explores the relationship between body and space, blending fashion and architecture. How did you come to love both of these disciplines and how were you able to fuse the two to create your unique style?
Clara Melchiorre: I have been passionate about architecture since I was a child, thanks to my father, who was an architect and painter. I would spend whole afternoons in his study, watching him work and imitating him. I thought about pursuing architecture, but then I found photography and my parents convinced me to continue down this path. After attending the European Institute of Design in Milan, I spent a long time trying to understand whether I was more interested in fashion photography or architecture photography. I tried to explore the two roads separately but I always felt that something was missing- so the choice to fuse them came naturally. I believe that my vision depends on my sensitivity, which has developed over time, focusing carefully on what surrounds me and feeding on every possible inspiration.
EV: Can you give us a little insight into your creative process? What kind of work goes into planning, developing and executing a shoot concept?
CM: I think the shooting is really the tip of the iceberg of a process that is born much earlier, so I don’t shoot much; the research takes time. As far as the creative process is concerned, it always starts from the space or objects placed in it. With the help of an architect, I try to understand the concept behind the project and then I translate it through the body. The places I visit, as well as the objects I observe, convey sensations to me, which I can bring to fruition with my camera. This process is enriched with iconographic references that come from my cultural background; however, I almost always notice this later, when I’m reviewing the shots.
EV: Since we are all at home in recent days, can you tell us three artists who we should research who will inspire us? Also three books that we should read while social distancing?
There are three artists whose works particularly impressed me at the last Venice Art Biennale:
• Ryoji Ikeda
• Sun Yuan and Peng Yu
• Liu Wei
These are some of the books that have been fundamental during the course of my studies:
• Italo Calvino - Six Memos for the Next Millenium
• Roland Barthes - Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
• Eugen Herrigel - Zen and the Art of Archery
In general, my advice for those who work in the creative field is to look and read everything without really dwelling on it. Everything we look at influences us and ends up inevitably in what we create. We should try and save fleeting impressions.