Interview with Allegra Martin


When I began to photograph consciously, I also began to reflect on what photography was for me and what motivations led me to transform it into the privileged means of expression.

I remember the profound need to “fix” the things of the world as I saw and perceived them, as if through this practice I could affirm my existence. First there was drawing, which still accompanies me as a daily activity (and free from any expectation); however the drawing implies an action from “inside out”: decoding the inner thoughts and images and making them a sign. Photography is a bit like the reverse process: isolating fragments from the flow of time and space and making them into images. The word image seems to have the same root as the Greek verb mimèomai (imitate, mimic): it is not a mere reproduction of reality, but represents a possible vision of it.

With these premises, photography thus becomes a tool that allows you to exercise your perception of the world, together with the awareness that there is something that escapes our understanding, which gives it the character of mystery.

References (art, literature, music, other)

Basically we see what we know; one’s visual research is the product of one’s own inner tensions and of the images that have shaped us and continue to do so, also deriving from other fields, such as music, literature, art … I have a tendency to produce and associate images for a great deal part of the stimuli I receive – be they olfactory, sound, etc.

We are the product of the images we have experienced, and at the same time these images guide us in the selection process.

In my training the history of art, literature, music but above all cinema have had great impact: the work of directors such as Antonioni, Tarkovskij, Kubrik, Lynch (and in adolescence Kieslowski, Ozu, Jarman – the list is very long!) which have contributed in a profound way to form my ability to “see by images”.

Research methodology

The working method that I follow – which I believe to be common despite the different approaches – considers the photographic medium an instrument of knowledge (and wonder) and the world an infinite reservoir of images: thus photographing becomes the preparation for an encounter with the possible, and at the same time in experiencing one’s own inner world.


Your research is inevitably conditioned by multiple contaminations: external ones, your own cultural references, your own biography, the places you live in; but in particular, a considerable impact is made up of fragments of memories and dream activity and their apparent irrationality: many of my dreams are transformed into images and sensations that accompany me throughout the day and over time they settle together with the memories, creating an imaginary composed of fragments of images.