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The Questionnaire : Anna Vivante by Carole Schmitz


Anna Vivante : Shadow & Light.

Born in Lugano, Anna Vivante spent her youth in Milan and then Rome, where she studied the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. After graduating, she spent ten years leading excavations in Turkey and Syria. In 1981, Anna began photographing the Near East. Her first black and white images were published in Nuovi argomenti 44 in 1992.

Her initial aim: to photograph what she liked, what she saw – faces, landscapes, architectural elements – a bit like an archive that she created for fun, without ever showing her images. But the medium soon won out.

After numerous group shows in Paris, Anna had a solo show entitled Vanitas in 2007 at the New York Graduate Center. In 2010, the Galerie Italienne de Paris presented her exhibition “Royaumes déserts avec dômes”. Then in 2011, Anna was invited to the Italian pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. That same year, she exhibited “Ciels d’architecture” at the Galerie Italienne de Paris, before presenting this series the following year at Milan’s Galleria San Fedele. In 2017, the artist participated in the Festival de créations photographiques de Deauville with the exhibition “Laisses de mer”.

Some time later, she presented a body of garden photographs at Atelier Visconti in Paris.

She has also exhibited in Rome at Macro Testaccio, in Bologna at ArteFiera Art First, in Paris at Fotofever and at Wopart in Lugano.



Instagram : anna.vivante

Currently: “Rococo à Rome” exhibition at Atelier Visconti, 4 rue Visconti Paris 6e


Your first photographic trigger?
Anna Vivante: After an accident, the friend I was with had a little red line of blood on his forehead….

The man or woman in the picture who inspires you?
Anna Vivante: Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The image you would have liked to have made?
Anna Vivante: The triggering of a nuclear test in the Bikini Atoll.

The one that moved you the most?
Anna Vivante : All those taken in New York on September 11th.

The one that made you most angry?
Anna Vivante: The underwear advertising in Italy.

The one you regret not doing?
Anna Vivante: Learning other photographic techniques. Learning to make paper.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Anna Vivante: A photograph taken in New York at the World Financial Centre with people of different nationalities sitting under real palm trees.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Anna Vivante: The “Vespa” advertisement.

What image do you have of yourself?
Anna Vivante : A very shy woman.

With no budget limit, what piece of art would you dream of buying?
Anna Vivante : Pontormo’s Portrait of a Halberdier, now in the Getty Museum.

In your opinion, what is the quality needed to be a good photographer?
Anna Vivante: A good eye, consistency, patience and determination.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
Anna Vivante: Light.

A must-have photo book?
Anna Vivante: Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Contemporaries, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995.

Your childhood camera?
Anna Vivante: Kodak instant photo.

The one you use today?
Anna Vivante: Nikon F3 and Nikon D850.

Your favorite drug?
Anna Vivante: None at all.

The best way to disconnect for you?
Anna Vivante: Reading. Drinking wine.

What is your relationship with images?
Anna Vivante: Complex but easy.

Your greatest quality?
Anna Vivante: Listening.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Anna Vivante: Trees.

If you hadn’t become a photographer?
Anna Vivante : I wanted to be an archaeologist, and I am, but it wasn’t possible to continue.

What city, country or culture do you dream of discovering?
Anna Vivante : Polynesia, the Pacific….

The place you never tire of?
Anna Vivante: Rome.

Your biggest regret?
Anna Vivante : I don’t know….

In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok orTweeter and why?
Anna Vivante : Instagram, it’s very interesting you can learn a lot.

Color or B&W?
Anna Vivante : B&W for exhibitions, color for every day.

Daylight or artificial light?
Anna Vivante : Daylight, but it’s not always possible.

Which city do you think is the most photogenic?
Anna Vivante: Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo.

If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Anna Vivante: It’s hard to photograph a ghost!

If I could organize your ideal dinner party, who would be at the table?
Anna Vivante: Man Ray, Leo Tolstoy, Stanley Kubrick, Susan Sontag…..

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
Anna Vivante: A garbage can.

What’s missing in today’s world?
Anna Vivante : Peace!

If you had to start all over again?
Anna Vivante : Yes, I’d do it all over again.

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