Carlo Zanni, Self Portrait With Dog, (2008)
Could you tell me a little bit about the Google Street View pictures "Self Portrait with Dog" (2008) and "Self Portrait with Friends" (2012)?
They are part of an exploration around portraiture I began in 2000 designing desktop icons, programming cookies, and making google images generated drawings.
In either cases, it's me on the street in Milan being shot by the Google Car. The first one back in 2008, the second one in 2012.
In "Self-Portrait With Dog," I'm walking my dog and I choose that frame among others from the street view sequence (that you can still browse from the project's homepage) because of its composition. It is also a classic theme in portraiture and it has a link to a famous work by futurist painter Giacomo Balla: "Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash", 1912. Both explore the idea of time and space, with mine having strong ties with very urgent themes like public exposure, privacy and control.
In "Self-Portrait With Friends (i fannulloni)" I've been shot with two pals while lying around like slackers. "i fannulloni" — that is the wall writing on the left of the picture — means slackers. You might find an assonance with "I Vitelloni" by Federico Fellini. Even in this case, I chose this frame for its composition values and when shown in gray scale as it has to be, its "neo realistic" side pops up.
Naming these works "self portraits", and not "portraits made by Google" — like suggested by curator Pau Waelder — ironically plays with the idea that I had a ...