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What happens when a circle begins? You know the circle will end. The matter is how is it gonna end. (The matter is, how can you know how is it gonna end?). A photographer meets an subject, not that she thinks he his, but it’s the only thing he deserves to be. And he knows it, and he likes it. Skin is a boundary [then] skin is an opportunity.
I met Asan in Paris. I was caught by his mental universe of anxiety, straying and questioning. With him, I felt immediately messy but complete. I entered his nomadic life and his persistent tension with spaces. I found myself in it. I started to take pictures hanging over him, in every street, light or wall he was leaning in. But he kept asking for more. He was viscerally attracted to me. He was obsessed with me.
For over one year, I denied him but I came back in an endless and tense tango. Following him across Europe and Asia, in a bipolar courtship, I was led into intertwined, overlaid worlds: erratic, liquid cities, revealing then hiding themselves; and Asan, more as an entity than a person, a mentor, a spiritual guide. As we chased each other, he took me away. When I found my own vision and language through our photos, I was already gone from his life, as he from mine.
Martina Cirese was born in Rome in 1988.
From 2008 until 2009, while studying History at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, she also enrolled at the institute of photography “ISFCI”, collaborating at the same time with the “AGF” photojournalistic agency and with the organization “Shoot4Change”. Completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2010, she has moved from Rome to Paris to finish her studies, winning a scholarship to do her thesis abroad and receiving her Master degree in Contemporary History in 2013.
Her first publications have been about the student movement: in 2008 on “PeaceReporter”; in 2011 on the book SpringTime: The New Student Rebellions by Verso Books; in the German magazine “Rosa Luxembourg” and in the Italian newspapers “La Repubblica” and “Alias – Il Manifesto”. In 2012, her first reportage assigned and her first cover were published in the Italian magazine “L’Espresso”, with an inquiry about the power of Taxi’s lobby during the Italian economic crisis.
Between 2011 and 2013 she has been working about the human search of identity: with this project, named “Asankojo”, she has been selected as finalist for the “Emergentes DST 2012 Award” and the “WinePhoto International Contest 2012”. She has won the scholarship for the “MasterClass 2012” held by Enrico Bossan, head of photography department in Fabrica.
This year, she has been selected in the “New York Portfolio Review”; she was among the shortlist of the “Bourse du Talent Reportage” and of the “Prix Pixpalace-Visas de l’Ani”. “Asankojo” was also nominated as “Honorable Mention” in the “Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant 2013”, and awarded with the first prize of the student category in the “Fotoura International Street Photography Awards 2013”.