Cold Cases - Brighton Photo Fringe

After graduating, I wanted to get involved with as many art events as I could. I was able to get involved with ‘Cold Cases’ that was on at the same time as the Brighton Photo Fringe. A perfect opportunity to not only get involved with the exhibition I was working with but to also all of the Photography work taking place all across Brighton.

Cold Cases, was an exhibition that reinterpreted three crimes that were found in the Old Police Cells Museum collection, Brighton. These crimes (all involving women) aimed to tackle a range of ideas around female perception.  The crimes reinterpreted were the Trunk Murders, the Chocolate Creme Killer, and the Grand Hotel Bombing. Curated by Natasha Caruana and Juno Calypso with Work-Show-Grow, the exhibition brings together twenty emerging international photographers to retell women’s stories related to these crimes. 

With the show taking place in such a unique venue, it was an exhibition I couldn’t wait to get involved in. I was very fortunate to work alongside Natasha Caruana as an assistant curator on the install of the exhibition whilst also being able to work alongside some of the artists who were their exhibiting their work. Working with an unconventional gallery space definitely created a real atmosphere to the show and made for such a unique opportunity to exhibit in the space.  The show ran as part of Brighton Photo Fringe and ran for two dates throughout the month. The exhibition was the outcome of a month-long brief where these ideas were put together.

Interview with Eleonora Agostini (As part of Not the Final Major Project at Photohastings)

Not the Final Major Project, features the work of seventeen emerging artists to be exhibited in Hastings.  With the emphasis so often being on finishing university, this exhibition instead aims to put the emphasis of the significance on progressing afterwards. The exhibition is a collaboration between Photohastings and Brighton Photo Fringe under the festival’s theme of developing new ways of seeing together. As part of the project I selected one artist from the exhibition to get in contact with to ask them a little more about their work.

Eleonora Agostini is a recent Royal College of Arts graduate based in London. Out of the many projects featured in the exhibition, Eleonora’s project A Blurry Aftertaste really resonated with me. I was drawn to the playful performance of the compositions of her work that conflicted with the more serious connotations to the relationship and was very curious to know more about the process of the project. 

A blurry aftertaste focuses on the objects, activities and surfaces that belong to the domestic space. Working at the intersection between photography, performance and sculpture, ‘Eleonora is interested in alluding to that which is beneath the surface and discover a possible fracture and new meanings within our contemporary domestic experience.’ 

Hi Eleonora, your work deals very much with an interest of the everyday through objects and activities, what is it that drives you to make work around this subject, why is this an important theme for you to work with? 

I spend quite a lot of time questioning and overthinking about things, and I believe my practice and my interest in the everyday mirrors this side of my personality. Driven by my curiosity in what I think I already know and my urge to question it, I aim to create new visions and meanings within our everyday experience. 

The performance aspect to your work is very noticeable through your images. The playful compositions conflicted with serious connotations is what drew me to your work. Why did you choose to explore this through a playful form? 

Diane Arbus, Paul Graham, Ragnar Kjartansson, Katerina Seda, Rachel Whiteread and Raymond Carver are a few names among many that I am influenced by, and of course this has impacted my art practice in result. However, experiences like spending time in my hometown for short periods, watching long and slow movies, observing people, and other real encounters have always influenced my work the most. Bus and train journeys give me space to think. 

The home being used as the space for the staging of these performances I felt was a very significant way to explore the relationship and something I noticed you hadn’t photographed as much before (correct me if i’m wrong). What made you decide to develop your home into the project, was this something that became more significant as the project developed? 

I have always struggled with how serious my images feel to me and how humourless photography can be as an art form. Before my last series the excitement of taking the picture was over too quickly. The performance aspect of A Blurry Aftertaste gave me the opportunity to appreciate the making process further and to make photographs that reflect a controversial relationship I have with my parents and their home. Many of the images involved my parents playing around the garden, such as my mother standing on my father, my parents and uncles posing on ladders, me emptying their house and them rearranging their belongings into strange structures, like they are busy in childish activities. The position of power that exists between the authority figure of the parent and the child is reversed. The action of play was a fundamental expression for the realization of the images and a subtle platform to explore the structures of the family bubble. 

Who are your biggest influences? Would you say that they have had an impact on your own art practice?

Taking pictures of my house in the past always meant photographing my parents whenever I traveled back for holidays or special events. At the end of last year I had to move back home for a couple of months and spent the majority of my time in the house. My relationship with the space changed, as well as the relationship with my parents. Almost constrained in the space, I started to photograph the borders of the house in different hours of the day and repeated the operation almost every day. I started to film the automatic grass cutter hitting obstacles in the garden with the camera my father used to film me and my mother on holidays. Then one day I moved inside and made Relaxation Island, the photograph that shows a pile of resting objects. When my parents were at work, I removed all the resting furniture and objects in the garden and when they came back home I asked them to create a structure out of it. In A Blurry Aftertaste the home is used as a theatre to explore and question the absurdity of our domestic experience, and as a stage to reconsider it. 

Do you think that the relationship between you and your parents will continue to inspire the work that you make?

I think it will somehow. 

Not the Final Major Project

2-17 October, 11am-5pm (exc. mondays)

Hastings Arts Forum, Hastings, TN38 0BU

Instagram: notthefinalmajorproject

See more of Eleonora’s work at 

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