Cristina Rizzi Guelfi
Untitled (from We Need A Face series), 2021
11 x 8½" Archival pigment print
6½ x 6¾" Image size
Edition of 22
Each print includes a certificate of authenticity, numbered and hand-signed by the artist.
About the Image
Selfies have become a storytelling tool, simple and immediate, but full of meaning. In an increasingly frenetic and immersive communication space, it is no coincidence that selfies have an increasingly important relevance. It is a kind of return to origins, made up of a representative language that is easy to use. Through selfies, in fact, you have the opportunity to show yourself to the world exactly in the way you want to be seen, or to make you perceive the sensations of a given moment only from the expression of the face, selecting precisely the information to be communicated. The series "we need a face [?]" was born to make fun of the widespread practice of obsession with selfies, replacing faces with photographs that were purchased from a bank of images. Most come from the US archives from the 1950s and 1960s. The question mark between the brackets is intended because it asks two questions: 1) Is it necessary to photograph your face? On the one hand, no, because body dysmorphism is a psychological disorder, typical of our society based on appearance and self-image, which causes in some individuals a continuous dissatisfaction and creates in the individual a conviction of having imaginary defects, related to your physical appearance, so much so that it becomes an obsession. 2) But without photographing the face, how can you understand the expression? This is why Arthur Schopenhauer's phrase "A person's face as a rule says more, and more interesting things, than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this person's thoughts and aspirations."
I am a self-taught photographer born in Switzerland. After graduation, I obtained a master's degree in directing at EICAR, but later I began to get interested in my passion for photography, honing my skills in both the digital and analogue fields. I have exhibited in Italy, France and the United States and some of my works are currently exhibited in various locations. I approached photography by chance, I wanted to give "life" to the things I wrote, in the end I preferred it to writing. My work is linked to a creation of ambiguous and cinematic images that border on the real and the fantastic.
Despite my scientific and legal studies, art and literature have always played a primary role in my life, after university I began to follow this passion of mine.I started writing short stories but I wanted to combine images with words, so I came to photography. But in the end I preferred it to writing: more direct. An image can replace a thousand words and add a thousand different ones, it depends on who is looking at it. unhealthy ideas, as it would surely be in the line of Russ Meyer or John Waters. Since I was a child I have always been a compulsive cinephile. I am attracted to old films and B-Movies where the absurd is associated with the everyday, where colors are a priority. I've always found humor in the mundane associated with absurdity, which is why I love Hitchcock who was a master of creating a creepy effect in a familiar environment, like Kubrick. The Shining was one of the first movies I saw as a teenager, I had never seen anything more perfect and still, with the ability to combine such beautiful and visually striking images with a truly terrifying storyline.