Dayana Sharon

An image selected from my “Sequences”, I photographically portray the whole emotional path my sitters followed in front of my camera: the use of long-exposure allowed me to depict those moments of emotional liberation capturing with my lenses facial expressions and body movements at the same time, proving that individuality and diversity have an important role also in the way we suffer.

The process can be observed all at once and step-by-step at the same time, giving viewers the time to analyse it and imagine the stories behind these photographs, with the hope that this will enhance a sense of empathy rather than sympathy.

I tried to transform the act of screaming, commonly considered as disruptive, in a constructive action that allows her sitters to release their negative emotions or trauma-related memories, creating a constructive dialogue around those Mental Health issues that are still considered a taboo in our culture.

The word Episode doesn’t only represent an event or a part of a television or radio program, it is commonly related to Mental Health Disorders to describe a circumscribed period of time in which someone is affected by a specified illness. Choosing the title, then, I didn’t only want to represent something occurring specifically to me, but I also the subject matter itself and the multiplicity of visual languages and creative choices employed.

The title of this section, as the number of the images it is made up of, have its origin in the duration of one of my panic attacks, that has lasted for twelve hours, and these self-portraits depict the photographer after those long periods of suffering. In most cases I can’t autonomously manage my camera, so I started collaborating with my companion. I maintained the full control of the photographic process but, thanks to this collaboration, I had the chance to show his perspective, too: what he sees in those moments, portraying my frailty and exposing, at the same time, an intimate relationship through a visual dialogue.

Creating them has been quite awkward because they portray my vulnerability, but this was something that has to be done, since with my work I want to fight the awkward, even if I constantly feel ashamed and I must remember myself I have the right to Load… Explode… and Be free.

With an experimental approach, I wanted to generate a dreamlike journey into my mind and my soul, depicting how I perceive, or misperceive, myself, how I see my past and the world. It is a symbolic representation of the process of reliving a trauma, my childhood, my memories, but, at the same time, I tried to symbolically show the sense of liberation from a burden to leave space to a better and unknown future. Suffering is a shared condition and this is represented by a sort of doppelgänger, another woman symbolically sharing some of my experiences, even if in a slightly different way.

The visual narration accompanies the interviews released by the Film Composer Elena Maro and the Phychologist and Neuropsychologist Dr Martina Gerbi. The first contributor explained how she collaborated with me and her multiple roles during the whole creation of my project, also showing how my images, a visual representation of the pain of others, can be “translated” in sounds. Dr Gerbi spent some words to explain the relationship between Psychology and Photography, the origins of Art-therapy and the potential of my project and its relation with Mental Health support and investigation.

Writtend and directed by Dayana Marconi. Photography and English subtitles by Dayana Marconi. Video and editing by Alessio Mattia. Music and sound-design by Elena Maro. The short documentary has been selected as semi-finalist at the "$2 Film Festival" in New York, for the online screenings during "London Lift Off Festival" and it has been awarded for the categories “Soundtrack collection” and “Composition/Composer” with a Bronze Medal at the “Global Music Award” in Los Angeles.

“EM GOT LOST IN LA – 20 places in which she couldn’t find herself” is a small project created during my MA Photography at Falmouth University, Cornwall. I have been asked to be inspired by one or more Edward Ruscha’s books, being completely free in the interpretation of his work and in its creation. I opted to express how I am currently feeling: as an individual who has lost her dreams, her inspiration, herself.

Using many elements that can be traced in Ruscha's production, I decided to create a fictional character, Em, who is living the same situation and is asking for help, who needs to be found. She is a woman mirroring another woman (me), but also representing a spiritual, psychological and emotional condition shared by many artists and individuals.

I tried to find my lost artistic inspiration and happiness wandering the streets of LA and physically looking for them, by giving them a humanised form I could chase. There are no descriptions of my images, but simple captions starting with a “Last seen…” and providing the exact location in which Em can be found. Did you find her?

“American Diaries” is a small project photographed in analogue during the summer of 2016. New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Los Angeles: in all these cities I tried to understand and portray the essence of the United States observing their places and people. But a journey is also made of memories, and this is why I opted for film-photography. In my mind it recreated a sense of familiar even in a context I didn’t know. I froze those moments, I made them mine using those memories of my childhood thanks to the fun of experimenting with images that might be considered as vernacular, but in the end this medium became popular in all the world mostly thanks to vernacular Photography. These grainy small images recall in my mind old family albums and made those strangers people and places become more familiar.

While travelling, I constantly had the feeling that in all those cities something was hidden by a sort of overlapped reality: this is why I made an extensive use of multiple-exposition. My intention was to create a path, a sort of short story representing those multiple realities made of different places, alternated by photographs of strangers portrayed as they wanted to be represented, people I observed working or making art, people living their everyday lives. I decided to focus on those details that made what I was observing different: this work is not about the American dream and it doesn’t want to photograph catchy stories but common, and yet fascinating, places and individuals.

I was trying to catch all signals and also what was behind the surface. This is why I decided to mix lights and shadows, to connect a colorful reality to what can be found behind it: the mystery of the night, sad stories, missing people. I also made an extensive use of written words. Words to ask for help, words explaining peculiar theories, words that symbolically could represent all those mentioned different layers of the same overlapped reality.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Dayana Marconi FASHION DESIGNER & SKETCHES: Susanna Farina HAIRSTYLIST & MUA: Mary Cavaliere LOCATIONS: Relais Cattedrale, LOFT Club – Asti, Italy.

The Industrial Archaeology takes in consideration the imperfect part of the world, analysing those places that have always been on the fringe of Society but fundamental for its development. Factories, stations and working-class areas are the darkest and most true side of our historical memory, this is why it results easy to forget them rather than better understand them.

Those “Abandoned Places” represent the imperfect and “ruined” part of each individual, that side that we try to protect but that characterises us the most.

With my cameraless project “Mind of a Photographer” I experimented with Cyanotype and Contact Printing, finding a new medium of self-expression. I have been diagnosed with a micro-aneurysm and a peripheral neurological damage and I suffer from anxiety disorder, culminating in panic attacks during stressing situations like medical examinations: in these circumstances, I usually seek refuge in my imagination. Mental images are important elements for a photographer, this is why I decided to create this series of “medical self-portraits” to depict my own brain during a creative process generated by a situation of distress. Inspired by blueprint, a process introduced in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, consisting of a contact-print reproduction of technical drawings generating a blue negative image, I used a series of Magnetic Resonance Images (negative prints), directly applied on solar paper, recreating the inverse process: from negative to positive. This path is also important since it represents that mentioned situation leading to positive mental images starting from a state of anxiety. Blueprint is a word often used as synonym of “plan”, which is something that can be linked to the working process of the MRI scan machine, that divides in “layers” the images of human anatomy and physiology.

I washed the solar paper into a bath of home-made 9g/L saline solution: this concentration of salt is similar to the one that can also be found in tears and human blood, liquid elements that, somehow, define who we are emotionally and scientifically speaking. Subsequently, these images have been scanned to conceptually recall the process of the MRI scan machine that generated the original negatives used during the creations of my cyan-blue prints. Images have been printed on Hahnemüle Pearl paper, made 100% of cotton, to minimize environmental impact, consistently with the re-use of medical materials and with the use of sunlight to create my imagery. Images from “Mind of a Photographers” are artifacts, a word that Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines as “objects showing human workmanship or modification as distinguished from a natural object”; but focusing on MRI, visual artifacts are anomalies seen during the visual representation and not present into the scanned body. This is why the final visual result of the creative process may vary according to the brightness of sunlight, temperature, exposure-timing, original negatives and saline solution (“machine-related”), but also by minor movements caused by a state of anxiety during the medical examination (“patient-related”) or artistic choices and decisions (“photographer-related”), generating differences and visual disturbances on the exposed solar paper. Ansel Adams stated, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it” and with this project my aim was to directly expose “those inches” to all viewers.

Dayana Sharon

Graduated with Distinction as MA Photography student at Falmouth University, where I created the two-year photographic and video project ‘I can hear you now’, across UK, Italy and USA, I am a member of AOP, ARPS, London Independent Photography, Lift-Off Film Festival Global Network and Women Occupy Hollywood.

In my work, I am interested in exploring the ways in which photography can be used as a tool for psychological research, investigating the inner world of the portrayed individuals and viewers. Particularly interested in the process of releasing negative emotions, I am interested in defying those social norms that stigmatise mental health issues, creating a constructive dialogue around a topic still considered taboo in our culture.

As a sufferer of anxiety disorders, I often feel the urge to scream out in pain but this inner pressure is never expressed, this is what inspired the two-year ‘I can hear you now’ project. More broadly, I am interested in representing individuality and my personal perception of the world, which is complex and this is why I decided not to use still images only, but also moving image and music score, collaborating with different artists throughout the world. Photography and video-art are a mean of self-expression: I want to share my vision and my emotions, but I am inspired by the external world, using it as a mirror.

Working mainly with still images, in these last years I included moving image and sounds to better share my vision of the world and express myself. I usually start creating with a research phase, taking inspiration by other artists and my everyday life, then I usually decide the best way to communicate my subject matter and only subsequently the creative-phase starts.

Currently working on an experimental photographic book, curated by Yogurt Magazine during the Art Residency “The Lab – Human”, to me, it is important to effectively communicate my message and to make the represented topics clear to viewers in order to generate understanding: something important in all my projects, from documentary to fashion shootings. I don’t want viewers simply to see my imagery, but to feel it.

‘I can hear you now’ project has been exhibited at the Brick Lane Gallery in London; at The Studio in Marks Tey, Essex; at Fuoriluogo Art and Culture Residence in Asti, Italy; it has been included into ‘Shutter Hub Open 2018’exhibitions in London and Amsterdam, it has been selected for ‘Shibuya Station Exhibition’ in Tokyo, part of ‘Contemporary Art Station’ international project and won the “Social Art Prize” at Palazzo Velli, part of the project “Rome Art Week” in July 2019.

Still images from this body of work have been included into the volume ‘100 artists of the Future’ that published in March 2019 by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine.

 

“I really appreciate the whole project. The experimental use of the photography and subsequently of the sound/music is so in tune, in sync with the emotional itinerary of the project, which is shocking. Dayana reveals a profound knowledge of the material she chose to investigate, to dissect. Screaming away. The key is in the desire and the knowledge that will be a release of the pain. It gives you the reassurance that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The whole project is a sophisticated assemblage of images and sounds/music that takes away the fear of the illness. It generates a profound empathy with the subject/s on screen. The film and the photos with the music, sounds and melodies, are sophisticated and at the same time an understandable representation of the pain, of the unease, of the obsession.

I admired the technique, the courage of the choices made, the boldness of the message and the generosity on the whole. Huge talent capable of reading her own feelings, capable of dissecting them diligently with love and compassion in order to Load Explode Be Free. Thank you Dayana for this excellent work of art.”
Ivana Massetti – Writer/director/Producer based in Los Angeles U.S. Founder and CEO of Women Occupy Hollywood.

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"I can hear you now" project's website: www.icanhearyounowproject.com/
Dayana Marconi Image website: www.dayanamarconiimage.com/
Dayana Marconi on Vimeo: vimeo.com/dayanamarconi

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