Stefano Conti (b.1994, Italy) is an artist living and working in Göteborg, Sweden. He holds an MFA in Photography from Valand Academy, Göteborg, and a BFA in Photography from LABA, Brescia, Italy. His works have been exhibited internationally, and recent exhibitions took place at Tête Gallery (Berlin, 2021), Condominio (Milan, 2021), Faux Pas (Göteborg, 2021), Landskrona Foto Festival (Landskrona, Sweden, 2020) and Premio Nocivelli (Verolanuova, Italy, 2020). Furthermore, in 2021 he won the Dummy PhotoBook Prize from Palazzo Rasponi (Ravenna, Italy).
Through a cross-disciplinary approach that intertwines photography, sculpture, and video, his practice explores the limits of photographic space and questions the perception of things: he re-arranges objects with printed matter to investigate what we perceive as a photograph, reflecting upon the fragmentation of the contemporary digital sphere. In the last years, Conti projects took the shape of artist books and installations in which he juxtaposed photographic prints to objects and materials, expanding them from the walls to the floor. Stemming from historical issues linked to archaeology, museums, and history writing, in his practice, the artist uses photography to stir these issues towards the contemporary time: “I believe that a museum must not be the setting for an accumulation of isolated art objects, but the space in which our relationships with them and reality can be reconfigured. The methods that archaeologists use to fill in information gaps and to reconstruct the past fascinate me. In my works, I want to re-establish this confusion of information on a visual level, combining materials from the past to materials from the present to observe what may emerge”. In He Found An Old Blue Ocean: Fossil n.25, by intertwining his photographs of fossils with found video footage from YouTube, the artist created a narrative that revolves around the orogenesis process which formed the Alps. In a critique of the history writing, he developed replicas of fossils that were eventually photographed and juxtaposed to archival materials seeking to build new narratives that could question or confirm historical facts belonging to our collective past and memory. By employing this small window on alpine history as a starting point, Conti investigates the relationship amongst images, the notion of truth, and how they can be used to create evidence of facts. He says: “Grounded in epistemological theories; I question the contemporary problems of image dematerialization in the ether and how societies trust the knowledge that these images convey”.