Originally an architect with Stocker Lee Architetti in Switzerland, Simone now specialises in using traditional film techniques to “capture the soul” of the places he photographs. He has photographed many architectural spaces that feature VOLA products, including projects by McLaren Excell, Studio XM and Think Architecture.
It has given me a way of approaching a space, a way of reading lines and symmetry. Now my aim is to capture a feeling of those spaces – to communicate that this is where we are now. It is a way to give meaning to a space.
It starts with a feeling. It’s like meeting a new person; you might not know or understand at first why you like or dislike them. You might feel intrigued by them but you don’t know why. The image is just the completion of that process of understanding. For me, the more time passes, the more understanding I have because I’m collecting more tools and information.
As we all know, the age of the internet means that our consumption of images has increased in speed. That means our comprehension of these images has also become very fast. We become connected to something definite as prescribed by others, no time to question or interpret and that is quite limiting. So I want to help people feel more sensitive – to give time to think about the places and things we might see or experience every day.
The challenge for me, and for everyone, is subjectivity. It is our first and only tool for experiencing and understanding space. So my subjectivity is a way to make an impact, create something and then it is the person viewing the image who brings their own subjectivity to it – that is their reaction. It is like a conversation, with each person contributing their own individual thoughts. There is no such thing as objectivity, everything is subjective.
We have dialogues with our spaces all the time, we have feelings about them. It’s infinite and impossible to organise. A photograph creates the freedom to explore that, to see what happens. The main point is to create a debate – even a negative reaction is fine, it opens the conversation. That freedom is so important to me.
It’s all about relationship with light and creating atmospheres. I feel somehow connected to the work of some of the important minimalist artists, like James Turrell, who explores the pure experience of light and space through his work. I’m fascinated by the fact that an apparent void is able to provoke such a full emotional reaction.
Although I use Instagram to share my work and extend my geographical presence, it can also be very unhealthy for photographers to rely on it, as it tends to focus on acceptance, reputation and popularity. It can be misleading if you use it as a goal and not simply as a tool of this generation.
I’m fascinated with music, as it is another one of our senses. How we experience sound is also subjective. Music is like an image in that it can have different temperatures and colours; it can take you on a journey with no borders. It allows you to play with your mind. I like the idea that maybe someone could view one of my photographs as an open experience, the same as they do with music.
Understanding that a space, that emptiness, is full of something. All we need are the tools to see and understand. I’m just the image creator, it is the viewer who has the reaction and brings their understanding to the image.