Ludovica De Santis

Ludovica De Santis

The photographer Kamisalak is 28 years old and called Ludovica Desantis. She currently also works for Vice, Noisey and ID in Milan. She portrays - and also almost documents - Italy in its emotionally-deteriorated present and her generation’s feelings of anxiety, boredom and sexuality. Ludovica also pleads for a new vision of Feminism. Her shots and portraits are raw und very intimate.

So, Ludovica, I was asking myself: where does your perspective on things come from? You grew up in village near Rome, then studied in Paris and now live in Milan…

My life on the rural side of Rome definitely rooted my work in terms of showing feelings like loneliness and immobility. Boredom is a big topic as well. Aesthetically speaking, the Parisian lifestyle has definitely influenced my eye. It made me choose a more raw and aggressive personal filter through which I look at things.

Speaking of filter: your pics have an amazing texture that even shows through the insta feed. What’s your secret?
I have no secret weapon. I use analogue cameras, they are the better choice for expressing the worn out and the wasted. Also they create this real and almost palpable feel on film. I don’t fully enjoy the “digital photography world” to be honest. Anytime I have the privilege to decide which equipment I’m using, I’ll always go for the analogue. It produces alterations that normally would not be part of the same picture, like dust, color dilutions, etc. I’m not a perfectionist. My approach is purely instinctive. That makes it raw and real, I feel.

Your work also feels pretty sexual …
Sexuality is a universe that constantly changes and expands. Day by day old prejudices are replaced by new ones. There are no longer boundaries and the human mind is free to spread its own edges and be filled up with different shapes and colors of sexuality. How is it even possible not to talk about all of this on a regular basis

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How is this sexuality linked to your main themes of boredom, wastedness and aggression?
My work focuses mostly on reality. What happens in real life is what strikes me the most. Boredom surrounds us on the daily basis. I think disillusion and the loss of values might be the cause why my generation develops so much anger and naughtiness.

Do you remember explicit moments when you were a child or teenager that made you go into the direction you are taking now.
Yes, there are two turning points, that somehow shaped my vision of things. The first time was when I saw my grandma naked. I probably was 6 or 7 years old, that was a really awkward moment for me. I had never seen naked bodies of elder people. Her flaccid boobs got stuck in my mind. It was a bit shocking. Then there was the time I experienced my first panic attack ever. I did not know what it was like, nor what it meant to have one and yet it happened: I’ll never forget what it felt like. I was out of control. I guess emotions like being „shocked“ and „out of control“ are subjects to my work as well as intriguing bodies.

What do you focus on at the moment?
Feminism. It’s one of the hottest topic nowadays. I can’t enjoy the conventional representation of women which seems to be very restrictive to me. We are more, we are Medea - we are the light and the darkness. I want to see more old and consumed bodies. Women of all ages that are still able to dance and flirt, wearing the scars from a Caesarean on display. I want more fluctuation of different body-shapes and so-called „defects“ glittering. And I want to communicate that more in the future.

Let’s take a short trip to your subconscious: inhale, exhale, then let your thoughts flow. What comes to your mind first?
Little men growing on the finger tips of other little men.

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