Photography Claire Clelia Baldo
LABOTIV is a laboratory of photographic projects initiated by Piero Viti and Claire Clelia Baldo. The seats are in Venice and Paris.
LABOTIV debuts on the international scene of art photography with the project FATICA (2017). This project is the foundation of the artistic and professional collaboration that the two photographers have started in 2016 and responds to the idea of restoring the climate of cultural and social events portraying their actors.
To capture the essence of people and places through a photographic mutual work of “reflection” is indicative of the aesthetic research of LABOTIV, aiming to express a creative duality by virtue of personal languages and styles which are already fine-tuned.
CLAIRE CLELIA BALDO
Claire Clelia Baldo’s path is divided between Italy and France. Her first experiences are shared between Roman and Parisian influences. She approached art, architecture and cinema already at a very young age. In the years of her formative training, Claire Baldo sharpens the need to understand humanity, the value of the dream, what it means to evade intimately from the self, the desire for travelling that later lead her to explore countries in Africa and Asia.
To live split between two worlds always entails a certain grade of instability and solitude, even inwardly. The artist looks at reality perceptively, recomposes it sensitively and transcribes it outwardly in images, perpetually in search for that ideal moment where it’s possible to pause for a little while and recognise herself.
The early elaboration of a compositional language of reality fuelled by visions and intuitions, together with the search for a sense of belonging, preserving and recalling past experiences in order to recognise them as such, placing them in space and time and then incorporating them into the photographic image, thus become evidence of Claire Clelia Baldo’s urgency: to give form and full meaning to her own identity, relying on the systematic but poetic use of the fragment.
The choice of black and white or colour as evidence of the material, the veiling, the contrasts, the apparent abstraction of the forms, the incessant search for movement in the spaces of the body captured close to their essence, which appear to be drawn in graphite, reveal a quality of the real returned through an oneiric transmutation process. As for an alchemist, time is always the key factor to this transmutation. The prolongation of the waiting process allows the image that emerges from the subconscious to take shape in the mind, allows the artist to observe it in its tiniest details and then structure it scenically and deliver it to the world as a work of art.
In Claire Clelia Baldo’s photographic practice, this process takes place through the patient construction of an alphabet made up of complex lines and shapes that have been meditated on and elaborated over a long period of time.
There are influences from the Symbolist painting movement, the art of Japanese prints and cinematic and poetic universes such as those of Cocteau or Fellini.
Before graduating in fine arts from the University of Paris-VIII, Claire Clelia Baldo attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and studied performing arts at the “Cours Florent” in Paris. She specialised in graphic design, a subject she taught for several years in the French capital. She perfected her skills as a graphic designer in London.
In 2016 she moved to Venice where she met the photographer Piero Viti with whom she founded LABOTIV.
By his father Luciano, renowned philatelist, Piero Viti inherits not only the passion of collecting, but especially the disciplined attention to details, the care for the particular, concentrating the sight through the apparent configuration of things, the meditated precise observation of reality as well as its images, where the eye becomes a means to scan as a microscope the most intimate folds of everything that it meets.
The constant practice of sports that require a high level of concentration– at first artistic gymnastics, then martial arts and scuba diving, as well as having had to undergo repeated surgeries to avoid wear and tear on his joints subjected to extreme physical stresses, bring him over time to develop a growing interest in the knowledge of the human body and its limits, which later on will find its raison d’être in his art.
Driven by his attitude for drawing, Piero Viti attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice (1984-85). He approached theatre to learn the Commedia dell’Arte, the psychology of its characters, the movements and facial expressions of the Zanni on stage, to the point that photographer Marco Bertin chose him as the Harlequin for his refined and controversial book Carnaval (1994), unquestionably one of the most exemplary volumes dedicated to the Venetian event.
As a graphic designer, Viti’s working experiences are with Franco Giacometti at Studio Camuffo in Venice (1985-1989) and agency DPZ in Brazil (1989). Back in Venice, he founds the magazine of culture and politics Nexus, together with Giovanni di Stefano and Andrea Pagnes (1993). In 1998, after his meeting with Pier Luigi Cerri, he collaborated to design the inaugural exhibition at Palazzo Grassi dedicated to the Fenici, thus contributing to the great architectural renovation project entrusted to Gae Aulenti. He continued to work in Verona on numerous projects to promote the image of events until the end of the nineties, before devoting himself exclusively to photography.
From his Venetian observatories – Rialto, San Marco, and today the island of Giudecca, Piero Viti has learned to feel the soul of the people, to reveal their depths in the moment of a shot.
Hence, if at the beginning was the line, the talented designer always fascinated by the features of the human faces as if they were proper landscapes, in his mature years Piero Viti selects the camera as his means of expression, as if it concentrates all the necessary tools to the artist, allowing him at the same time an immediate thus endless exploration of the human.
Both in the use of colour and black and white photography, Piero Viti also reserves special attention to shadows and lights, which tell of its sources of greatest inspiration: Titian, Caravaggio and Flemish masters Van Dyck and Vermeer, confirming its deep concern in the pictorial composition and resulting fruition of the photographic image. Ultimately, his photographs leave little room for concessions and hedonistic speculations. The subjects and models of his portraits ignore the glamor of fashion clichés. Rather, as in a painting by Rembrandt, they are offered in their cracks and imperfections, therefore as if revealing the secret of the subject’s experience. Even when clothes and objects that populate the background are designed and chosen with extreme care, it’s just to get to the hundred twenty-fifth of a second, that moment when the factor of the unpredictable becomes crucial.