Research notes – Gianluca Cosci

The following notes come from an interview of Cosci by Kev Byrne, which can be found here (1). All quotes are from Cosci

….Panem et Circenses was taken exclusively around the Millennium Dome which at that time was a depressing no man’s land after being open for only 12 months in 2000. It was Blair’s vanity project to boost his image as “presidential” prime minister. That white elephant with a price tag of nearly one billion pounds of tax payers’ money was standing empty while he was declaring war against Iraq. I had the need to work on that specific place in that moment.

Cosci shows here the importance of location as an integral part of the concept one wants to convey, yet while I am sure the idea to shoot around the Millenium Dome did not come on a whim, his description of the process makes it sound like the decision was more emotional than rational. Sometimes impulse is also an important part of the photographic process, and in many cases we are not sure what we are photographing or why, but still go ahead and do it because we had the urge to do so. Some of these images then make sense when we sit down and look at them a few days or months later.

at the end of the day one tends to always believe in the photographic image even though after Photoshop this is getting less and less true I guess, but the sense of “evidence” remains anyway, especially if one compares it to painting for example…

Even with Photoshop, there are still details that are there in the photograph which are ignored in the manipulation process and that form part of the record, the bits we would ignore perhaps when we paint.

…photography does suggest a kind of reality even though a highly subjective one indeed… And it includes that frozen moment in time that is the essence and the allure of this medium.

I can personally related to Cosci points about reality and time. I am currently trying to work around these concepts by looking at objects that occupy a specific space during a limited, short time: discarded coffee cups, left over food, cigarette buts, carrier bags. Most of these objects are overlooked, avoided, when taking pictures. But they also have a story to be told: how they got to where they are and where they will go next. I try to capture a slice of that story in the limited time, sometimes seconds, that I have in front of them.


(1) Kev Byrne 1971. 2017. An interview with Gianluca Cosci | Kev Byrne 1971. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 September 2016].


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