I WAS THERE
I Was There is the first chapter of a long-term project that explores Western society and its obsession with success. I started by depicting the worlds of art, fashion and culture, where anxiety and struggle for success, together with a desperate need for recognition and approval, are ubiquitous. The images were taken in 2010 at The Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice Film Festival, Milan and London Fashion Weeks, Frieze Art Fair in London and The Paris Contemporary Art Fair.
I chose these events because they are examples of a global bubble that could be on the verge of bursting. Jean Baudrillard wrote: “When one looks at the emptiness of current art, the only question is, How much such a machine can continue to function in the absence of any new energy, in an atmosphere of critical disillusionment and commercial frenzy, and with all the players totally indifferent? If it can continue, how long will this illusionism last? A hundred years, two hundred? This society is like a vessel whose edges move ever wider apart, and in which the water never comes to the boil.”
If one substitutes the words ‘current art’ with ‘current society’, the equation doesn’t change. And who are these ‘indifferent players’, if not us? I want to continue to photographically explore and understand the alternative reality created by consumerism, where peoples’ aspirations are dangerously confused by market driven ideals of living. Dispersing the notion that through selfish individualism everybody can reach extreme forms of wealth significantly contributes to the social and economic disparities in this world.
TERESA COS is an Italian photographer based in London. She grew up in a small town called Latisana, in the North East of Italy, where she lived for six years as an architecture student. It is thanks to architecture that she discovered photography and her fascination with the representation of reality.
After graduating she was part of the Italian team of architects and urbanists in the International Consultation commissioned by the French government to produce ideas for the future of Paris. She lived for seven months in the suburbs of the French capital, producing her first important body of work, which led to her to be accepted into the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography MA program at London College of Communication. The central themes of her research are the dynamics of control that rule western society; and the imposed models of behaviour that shape peoples’ lives.
Teresa Cos’ work has been published and exhibited both in Italy and the UK. She recently exhibited at Photo Ireland Festival with the collective Five Eleven Ninety Nine and has been awarded the Honourable Mention for emerging photographers by the Magenta Foundation with her project I Was There.
Visit Teresa’s website to see more of her work.