Sign – “I’m waiting for you” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Riccardo Santoro

2024 March 21

Sign – “I’m waiting for you” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Riccardo Santoro

-Who is Riccardo Santoro?

I am 44 years old, I am Italian, born and raised in Naples, but resident in Bologna for 19 years. I deal with art. Specifically visual arts. I try through art to know myself, navigating in a simple way, building slowly and constantly analyzing my work. In art I find the shelter that social life doesn’t give me. I don’t run away, but I resist. Here, in artistic practice there are no cuddles or reassurances; artists know this well. I was born as a painter, then an illustrator. I then began and completed a three-year course in Nautropathy (holistic disciplines), and later specialized in photography, graphics and video art. With photography I work both purely and with photomontage. In photomontage I let drawing, painting and sometimes writing come together, combined with photography. In video art I have more space, as the narrative elements that are added are dictated by the vocal instruments and the music. Giving rhythm by also using still images, such as drawings or photographs, greatly broadens my spectrum of creative action. I really like to experiment and in graphic post-production and video effects software I have found a vast world from which to draw for my inspiration. I prefer to work in a simple and natural way, even if I can sometimes appear radical in my almost sparse use of elements. But this is part of my personality and holistic studies. I believe in the use of poor materials because I believe that in this way we can reach the intimate nature of things with greater sincerity. In my artistic research, my personal condition and the human condition occupy a central position of interest, where the intention is to reveal the nature of a life that is beyond and above humanity. My artistic works, whether video art, photomontages or documentary photography, are always accompanied by descriptive texts that speak of my way of understanding life. The interest I carry forward in Eastern philosophies fills my research. I try, with the support of these studies and through the simple experiences of a human being, to give voice to my considerations and my experiences, through art. My vision includes a universal feeling of things, where the succession of human experiences are imbued with the desire to discover the original spiritual nature.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

One afternoon at home I was on the computer watching music videos, short films and cartoons, as I did every day. I realized at that moment that the vast majority of things I was watching with interest were videos. And I had been doing it for years. So I thought: why not learn how to make them? It could be inspiring! It was like this that I began to study the art of cinema in a completely simple way. I attended both videomaking and postproduction courses and the video effects tools certainly involved me a lot. What the video gives me is the possibility of creating a temporal narrative that goes well with my lyrics and music, which I love. At the moment I am tending towards the creation of music videos and short films which include lyrics written by me and also music created by me. In these videos writing, painting, drawing, photography, voice, music, video and video effects come together. The latter, video effects, is certainly the one that stimulates me the most at the moment. Here I try to develop animations starting from simple geometric shapes or by manipulating images and video clips with well-finished but elementary effects. It reflects my thoughts, my way of life. The attempt is to give shape to what I feel inside.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I believe in art. And I believe in cinema as a form of art that can be enjoyed immediately. It involves a temporal narrative that requires constant attention. Through a film we can learn social, historical, scientific notions and we can learn about the thoughts of a director, which can awaken something within ourselves. Having touched the soul of an individual is already the beginning of a potential social change.

-What would you change in the world?

Today we see a very trivial world, grappling with old systems of social control taking on new forms, and with truly sad results. The wars and false democracies of the dominant countries suggest an increasingly poorer future both economically and culturally. Personally, I am for a more sensitive and human approach to life. So I look at the things closest to me. What happens in the city I live in and what happens in my country. I believe that paying attention to the reality closest to us can be very helpful on a social and global level. A state that loves you is concerned with committing its economic resources to health, culture, racial integration, the real implementation of strategies implemented on gender equality, the commitment to guaranteeing a home for its citizens, and in interventions to support the environment.

A state that does not give to the citizen is a state that does not love you. My point of view is not simply linked to the sphere of sensitivity and empathy, but I find that altruism is an intelligent tool for creating solid and changing relationships between individuals. An attitude aimed at caring for people can create a healthy feeling of affection towards one’s land, one’s nation, and would certainly lead to making people stronger.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I believe in cinema as an artistic genre. So I’m not worried about new technologies, since they won’t bury cinema as an art form. What I hope is that artists do not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by increasingly powerful technologies, which can lead to a reduction in human commitment through a reduction in workload. Therefore I believe it is important to point out that the ease and speed with which some technologies allow us to create must be carefully examined when we realize that our personal creative capacity is being reduced. In the descriptive text of the video “Segno – Ti aspetto” I also talk about this. Specifically, I am interested in seeing how much human there is in an artistic work. I therefore believe that the further time goes, the more powerful the technologies will be and the more the artist will have to ask of himself. The artist, as always in history, is personally responsible for what he creates. He is responsible for himself and others. Cinema, which was born as a new artistic frontier linked to a great scientific innovation, should in my opinion take on board the experiences of the past and take into account the fact that without human beings there is no art. Two human components that I find important for an artist are sensitivity and courage.