Magnetic Field

– Campo magnetico

photographs by Victoria Haleba, Valeriya Kuzmitskaya, Onur Özen and Liu Shang-Wei

April 17 – 24, 2014 

curated by Lucia Giardino and Simone Pierotti

Onur Özen, Untitled portrait, 2014

The exhibition brings together four students at the end of their certificate program in photography being obtained DIVA, the School of Digital Imaging and Visual Arts of Florence University of the Arts.

Haleba Victoria, Valeriya Kuzmitskaya, Onur Özen and Liu Shang-Wei move toward different polarities, thus delineating an ideal Magnetic Field, which reveals the attitudes and choices of each, tempered by the common course of study.

Curious and receptive, Victoria Haleba is engaged by the wonder of chronophotography, which she prints in the large format of contemporary photography, creating sequences of images inspired by the act of unfolding. In spite of the avant-gardist technique, her young models, open their limbs into sinuous metropolitan forms, emphasized by the cascade of the hair, their thinness and their nervous postures. As the title the section of the Magnetic Field dedicated to her, each of them is a Dea (Goddess), who embodies the beauty and power of every woman.

If in Dea the bodies open until their complete entirety, the photographs of Notes by Valeriya Kuzmitskaya, shows them into pieces, isolated and dissected in blown up details, which reveal the most intense passions and conflicting energies. In front of the sculptural masterpieces of the past, Valeriya is abducted by contorted bodies, ajar mouths, whippy tendons. Her hypnotic gaze infuses blood in the stone limbs, which are haunting her. She considers Michelangelo as the seer, able to  find and bring out the character already present in the marble, as well as to keep him in the matter, and froze him in a state of constant tension.

Directly from Onur Özen, the words to illustrate Malocchio, his series of portraits on show in Magnetic Field: “It has been at least two years since I have had in mind a project on metal music. Since I am a fan of this genre, the subject of my photographs also has to do with my personal sphere. I am interested in the diffusion at the global level of this kind of music, but also to investigate how music turns into lifestyle and global culture. As a Turkish, it was important to see and meet others fan around the world … “. In fact, Onur Özen’s project was born in Florence, but with the intention of being continued worldwide. A series of medium-format colored Polaroid, some of which selected to be printed bigger invade the walls of the studio/box he sets up as an underground rehearsal room.

The project Ombre (Shadows)by Liu Shang-Wei evokes the uncertainty of the stranger in a world away from someone’s own culture and geography. With the discretion typical of some Eastern civilizations, this young artist from Taiwan, addresses the issue of isolation and silence, which, in addition to being an existential condition of the individual, it is also the product of the current state of the world where we all move conveniently ignoring each other. The black and white prints influence the installation choices by Liu Shang-Wei, and complete her whole idea for the show: a chiaroscuroed path, in which the shadow is not the result of a physical presence, but paradoxically, of its absence.

Liu Shang-Wei, Ombre, installation (detail), 2014


Victoria Haleba (1992, Haifa, Israel). When she was two years old she moved to Sofia, Bulgaria, where she later become a professional competitor snowboarder and became interested in photography. At 19 she arrived in Florence with the intention to devote to professional photography. In 2013 DIVA, the School of Digital Imaging and Visual Arts of Florence University of the Arts, invited her to take part in an exhibition focused on fashion. In the same year she participated to astreet photography exhibition, in South Park in Sofia. Bulgaria.”Photography is a way of expressing my feelings, a way of showing my point of view. It is something that gives me privacy and my own area. Every time when I am shooting I learn more and more about life and people”.


Valeriya Kuzmitskaya (1993, Moscow, Russian Federation). She started studying art in Cambridge, United Kingdom when she was 16, and was able to buy her first camera by helping in her father’s business. During a trip to Dubrovnik (Croatia) she made her first photographic project on the architecture of that city and sold the images that would decorate a private house interiors. Always fascinated by Italian history and visual culture, she decided to come to study photography at DIVA, Florence, in view of a career in the field of his major interests, such as interior decoration and fashion photography.


Onur Özen (1988, Çanakkale, Turkey). In 2011 he graduated in Fine Arts from Çanakkale Onsekizmart University, where he specialized in painting; yet he has been passionately dedicating to photography for the last seven years. Between 2007 and 2012 he took part in a number of group exhibitions in Turkey (Intepe Spring Festival, Summer Festival Kucukkuyu; Korffman Library Canakkale, Istanbul University Photography Days; Kayiki Social Project, Greece and Turkey, Canakkale Photography Festival Among Universities Turkey (Organization); İstanbul 22. IFSAK Photography Festival, Pan Visual Culture Studio Canakkale). In 2013 he participated in the final exhibition of the School of Digital Imaging and Visual Arts (DIVA), Florence University of the Arts, and made videos for the event Excentrica (Fly Fashion Loves You, December 2013).


Liu Shang-Wei (1987, Kaohsiung, Taiwan). Her parents, both artists, have infused passion for photography in her veins. While attending school, she became the assistant of a professional photographer. Then she started to create weddings photographic services in studios, until she decided to come to Italy, to continue studying at Diva, and turn photography into her job. Considering the formal aspect of the image secondary, Liu Shang-Wei is interested in photography as a means to record people’s unexpected moods, and to enter in empathic relationships with her subjects.


Valeriya Kuzmitskaya, living image, black and white digital photography, 2014