Conversation between Lee Materazzi and Olivia Ramos

work untitled, July 1, 2014

Ramos: by association, the first image has a completely different narrative

Materazzi: Through out the series there is play between something heavy and something light. In general things tend to be both themselves and their opposite simultaneously, no? Some of the works, that at first glance, come off a little dark or morbid become funny to me after giving them a minute and visa versa.

Ramos: There is humor in your work, uncomfortable yet familiar, simultaneously dark and light, as you described awkward and endearing and beautiful what about this image?


Ramos: different from the rest of your work, first time I see movement

Materazzi: yeah ... that just kind of happened. I had thrown away those drawers and liked the idea of doing something with them. I was by myself and wanted to see what something looked like so resorted to a long exposure. It then just turned into this game of trying to touch my toes within one exposure.

Again, kind-of silly and child-like but actually kind of dark, not only due to the aesthetic of the yellowish light and fragmented body but I was literally covered in bruises after as I was diving into position trying to work within the long (but relatively short) shutter speed. I was so absorbed in my game that I didn't realize my bodily afflictions.

Ramos: closer to video ... moving images, are you thinking in those terms, now that this happened?

Materazzi: I've always liked the idea of working with video but I find it hard to not show too much, which can then leave less for the imagination. It's easier (for me) to tell more with a photograph.


Ramos: tell more without showing too much ... is there an in-between, these images are, for me, between video and photograph
perhaps there is more to explore in that space

Materazzi: I think you're right that this work treads a line between the two mediums. It implies movement while remaining still. But, can't you imagine movement within the first work too?

Ramos: maybe, however the exposure of time would have a different effect on the play of subtle morbidity carried through your narratives

Materazzi: As in; what would that field of flowers look like a few months down the road?

Ramos: it depends on the narrative, not sure what effect time would have in this case, other than ... it's been growing for some time now .. and even that is expressed in the photograph as it is
i would think of ii in the next potential narratives, exploring this juxtaposition of heavy and light can time make the heavy heavier and light lighter, can time expand the distance between the dark and the humor?

Materazzi: The image is about an ideal and the darkest and funniest part about that, is that it can't exist. After a day of inserting each and every flower I took a few pictures, let my daughter run around for an hour, had a poetic moment and then dismantled the whole thing as one of my helpers wanted the sod for his lawn.

I think that the "real life" aspect to the work is important. The narrative, for me, is that whole package. The play between fantasy and the practicalities of every day life.

So, to answer your question, I think that time does allow for the heavy to get heavier and the light lighter. These grow simultaneously in reaction to one another. Leaving us smack in the middle to feel the extremities of their contrast.