Moving Image Design
Passionate about visual storytelling, Alessandra’s practice as an artist focuses on the individual experience as a means to understand the human condition, through the lens of psychoanalysis and language.
Alessandra (b.1995) is an American/Swiss cinematographer, installation artist and filmmaker. After studying under French/Canadian cinematographer Josée Deshaies (César Award Nominee, Canadian Screen Award Nominee) during her BA in Film at the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL), Alessandra worked as a cinematographer for short fiction, videoclips and commercials in New York, France and Geneva, before enrolling at the Royal College of Art in London.
Alessandra is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Reflections on the Nature of Anxiety (Audio-visual installation), RCA
Max Richter, Schumann and Brahms (Videoclip) commissioned by the Swiss Museum & Center for Electronic Music Instruments
HHT Europe: The Interactive Installation (Installation) commissioned by HHT Onlus
From the moment we are born, as individuals and as a species, anxiety is part of every fundamental step in human life, in the same way love, desire and suffering are. And yet, the rational man, by nature, shies away from anxiety, seeks to control it, to hide it. Maybe out of fear of what would happen if our anxieties became visible, what they may reveal about ourselves.
As Kierkegaard once said ‘’the anxious person stands at the crossroads and wonders which way to go’’. But what of the crossroads? What can we learn about the nature of our human existence through the in-between, through the experience of anxiety?
The uncertainty and major transformations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have indeed amplified anxiety within the individuals composing our contemporary societies, as we are in a continuous movement between the known and the unknown, between the past and the future. Our efforts are drained into retrieving a semblance of certainty, of past worlds, and our attention focused on anticipating the future.
Drawing its sources from Kierkegaard’s Concept of Anxiety, humanist existentialism and Freudian notions of anxiety and repetition, Reflections on the Nature of Anxiety features a single-person sized room, in which a moving image piece offers an immersive journey into the different facets of anxiety, exploring its essence and the questions arising from it.
An experimental documentary film featuring excerpts from interviews with children and teenagers between 8 and 13 years old on primordial aspects of fear, existence, reality and emotions.
To emphasise anxiety’s grasp on the familiar and the mundane, I used cameras which can be found in most homes (such as an old DV camera, an Iphone and common DSLR), handmade distortion apparatuses and shot most of the film within a mile radius of my own home.
Collaborator: Adrien Koumrouyan (Original Soundtrack)
Medium:video (4:3/16:9), sound (stereo)
Visual narrative board for Reflections on the Nature of Anxiety.
The film is structured around six stages of anxiety, each with varying intensity, starting with the very first one we all experience as human beings: birth. Each stage, or chapter, is inspired by a specific concepts of anxiety, as they have been explored by different existential and psychoanalytic authors on the nature of anxiety (e.g. 1. Genesis, 2. Angst, 3. Separation, 4. Sense of Self, 5. Dizziness of Freedom, 6. the Beyond).
Chapter three, for example, ‘’separation’’, explores loneliness, discontinuity with our immediate surroundings and the world at large, which, according to Kierkegaard and Heidegger, is part of bringing us to abandon familiar conceptions of Self (i.e. chapter 4). In Heidegger’s words, to go from Das Mann (the unauthentic immersion in everyday life) to Dasein (the authentic act of ‘being there’) , one must ‘stand by one’s Self’ and accept anxiety as part of life.
Until now, I have focused mainly on the first three chapters.