EST: You bring together so many different disciplines in your work. How would you define what you do?
VITTURI: This is difficult, but if I really have to define it, I would say I use a multidisciplinary process, a mix between sculpture, photography and performance, to explore changing realities and the complexity of transformation.
I also like to work with fragments. I mix products, objects and materials from completely different cultures. This multicultural aspect is part of my own story, being Italian and Peruvian and German as well. And the relationship between manmade and nature is important too, mixing materials that are organic and man made.
EST: You were born in Venice, how did you end up in east London making Dalston Anatomy, a book that celebrates the life of Ridley Road Market?
VITTURI: I left Venice when I was 19 years old and moved to Rome, where I studied photography and graphic design at the European Institute of Design (IDD). Then I became interested in the cinema industry, so I got a job and learned about production and set design. That’s how the cinema industry works – you need to start from the beginning as an assistant, so I starting as a beginner, as a set painter. This kind of experience in the industry was as important as design school – I learnt a lot about how things work.
After four years in the cinema industry, I moved to Milan and worked for seven years in advertising, in post-production and digital construction. I managed to build my own niche, making print campaigns for different companies but always applying my set design and installation work. But the industry was changing, it became really fast and there was less quality. So I decided to focus on my art practice.
I moved to London in 2007, almost ten years ago. I have always wanted to be in London and I arrived when I was 27 years old. It transformed my career. I built a little studio in my house in Dalston and there’s where I started. I didn’t have a precise idea of what I wanted to do, but I started to discover something interesting was happening in Dalston. I saw how it was being changed by this process of gentrification and I wanted to celebrate the multicultural aspect of the neighbourhood.
So I spent three years collecting materials and taking photographs around the neighbourhood. I think it was the first time I managed to apply my multidisciplinary process to a single theme. It’s a mix of sculpture, of photography, collage, and in a way also painting, because all the sets that you see in the book were made in my studio. So I mixed reality and fiction, working between the street and the studio, really close to Ridley Road market. The idea was to celebrate the diversity and this mix of different cultures that managed to find an equilibrium, to work together in a small environment in the neighbourhood and this was the main idea behind the project. My love for London and for Dalston was manifested in this book.
Of course, it has changed over the years. London is transforming, and I’m quite critical about how London is changing, but there’s still quite a strong attraction.