Alessandra Pace is an Italy based self-taught photographer whom has been shooting on film since 2012.
She moved her first steps in this field with her ex-husband, working on an intimate project about their private life called “Ho te” (I have you). That project was published by Impossible Italia in 2016 and also exhibited at Fotografia Europea 2015.
At the same time they both started shooting numerous girls as their subjects and released some monographic self published fanzines at the same time.
Alessandra is one of the founders and editors of Badseedzine which was born in 2017 – an independent fanzine that wants to show visceral raw photography of artists from around the world, against hypocrisy and fictions that have been common in past and current photography.
In this last year she has also collaborated with an independent publisher King Koala and together are working on her upcoming book that will be launched in May 2021.
Alessandra, first of all, how are you? How’s your lockdown going?
Hi there! Not too bad considering this crazy bloody time. Honestly this lockdown period is hard cause we have even less certainties than ever, but is also strengthening me a lot as a human being. Probably after all this nothing can scare me anymore.
I also had a reconfirmation of how art is essential to my survival in this jungle.
Where are you from and where are you based now? Could you tell us a little about both?
I’m Italy based. I work between Milan and Pescara, my hometown.
Pescara is a little town on the Adriatic coast with which I had a love/hate relationship. Full of breathtaking wild nature, living here put me in my eternal struggle between being crazy of province life and all the little things that makes this condition absolutely amazing, and feeling as suffocating by a narrow mentality.
As a matter of fact, when I moved my first steps into erotic photography I received a lot of not constructive criticisms.
Could you describe for us your way of creating in 3 words? Why these 3?
Setting, subject connection, pure instinct.
For my shooting I never plan anything but the setting. Indoor/outdoor landscape is relevant in my photos, that’s why I always work with a wide angle lens. I’m an observer, places give big inspiration to me.
Interaction with the subject is what can make a photo a special one. It happens through an open and sincere talking in which we share our thoughts about life such as family, past troubles, art, politics and similarities and in which we naturally create a connection that will be the key of the shooting.
I deeply entrust with my instinct and I always press the button when I feel that is the right moment.
I see a lot of reality in your work. Raw candor and a naked truth, with intimacy as a visual key point in your art. I’d like to know more about the inner path you take to get your photographs.
I’m a very empathetic person both with people and environment.
I like non conventional beauty and not expected things, what I love more is the attitude and the personality of a subject and I can perceive it through the gaze.
It comes natural to me establishing a connection because I’m curious, I’m a good listener and I am the first one to tell about my story.
All the people I shot felt comfortable in front of my camera, because everything goes on in a spontaneous way, I never ask more of what the other is available to give to me. If they are comfortable are also free to be themselves and I capture just what I see and what I feel in that moment.
Why does sex still scare? What can we do to start normalizing sex and sexuality and turn away from judgement?
Since we came into this world they brainwashed us by a conservative, patriarchal, religious thinking in which what counts more is what others could think of us and not what we truly like and makes us in harmony with ourselves. Honestly I think that the general situation couldn’t improve so much cause it seems is just getting worse, especially in these last years with social networks.
But I don’t give up, I will go on with my work and with my voice, cause on the other hand there a lot of people and little communities that work in the same direction, and little by little we’ll all keep in touch, as happened with you guys, and your gallery that give voice to artists like me, and we’ll always succeed in creating the conditions to express our thoughts and change some minds.
What do you think of the limbo between erotica and pornography? How and in which ways must we not get confused what to be careful about?
The difference between erotic and pornographic is an eternal dilemma. Juridically porn is when male and female genitals are completely and frontal exposed, and in this case a lot of my work could be defined pornographic.
But pornography can be art as well and not only something associated with indecency or vulgarity. It is a very subjective perception and when people see only bad connotations in it that’s because they have fear of their own instincts.
Can you tell us about the Ocean / Atmosphere publication you have coming out with King Koala? The history behind it and what we can expect to see? (What an achievement btw, we were very happy to a first glimpse)
Ocean/Atmosphere is my next book published by King Koala that is an independent publisher born in Milan and more than this is a collective of kindred soul artists that wanna spread their voice all over the world openly, freely and also slowly as koalas. We also manage a yard where we arrange exhibitions and events.
The history behind the book is a work that I did on my archive that goes from 2012 till 2020. In these years I shot a lot and I have tons of photos, so I felt necessary to emerge into it. Since the setting is the engine of my photographic inspiration I decided to start from the places.
The book is divided into six sections, Kitchen- Bathroom-Windows-Nature-Exhibitionism-Porn. Kitchens and bathrooms are my favorite home places, they convey something familiar to me and a kind of protection. They are places where we spent most of our time and where we also do not ordinary things for that rooms, like as sex for example.
I’ve always been attracted to the windows, they are the connection between inside and outside and are also so aesthetically fascinating to me. Then from home feeling mood we go outside both nature and urban setting, completely exposed to whatever, also a ticket for indecency.
This brings a lot of adrenaline and hilarious moments to the shooting. Last section is called Porn and is a provocation. I put in this all the photos that cannot be on socials and museums, that I don’t consider vulgar but just of big emotive impact.
From all that different environments emerge my subjects, the protagonists of my work that in these years gave me access to their intimacy letting me realize all that photos. They are friends, lovers, relatives, models, or simply boys and girls that need to do this experience, every one should do it once in my opinion, cause being nude in front of a camera could be not only cathartic but also can teach us something deep about ourselves.
I’m very excited for the book to be launched, and probably it will happen at the end of May.
And what is badseedzine?
Badseed is a movement not a simple zine! This is our motto. We are three partners in crime Marcel Swann, Luca Mata and myself.
Since the beginning we created this magazine to highlight the freedom of choice of every artist that is even more killed by a homologation aimed at a barren approval, the need to please rather than affirm a personal vision. We wanna give a voice to authors who represent an Authentic / True vision and at the moment we are working at our third issue that will be a very special one and will be out by this summer.
Which is your all time camera / love to shoot?
I shot only film and my favorite faithful camera is my Contax G2. Nikon f301 is another of my babies, is an old camera that allows me few things than Contax but is my first one and when I shoot in good light conditions the results are super dope!
I also use a pinhole 35mm camera called Pinolina and different kind of disposable cause I love law quality, blurred photos, grain, toned colors but I love that this result are real and are made with the camera and not applying digital filters from Photoshop.
Last but not least, tell me about your lifelong relationship with music.
Music can change the mood of my days, is a powerful means of therapy. When I feel hurt I have some LP that let me feel better cause help me to face the sorrow and go over it, when I’m down I have LP to stay up and when I feel anxious or nervous LP to calm down and go to sleep. Every moment can have a personal soundtrack and can’t imagine a life without all this magic.
Where can we find you online?
Words: Nicole Oike