Spotlight: Windows

Artist’s Statement

I often work in series creating bodies of work that highlights certain interests such as architecture, space, and scale. I like to investigate the way in which spaces are constructed and how the environment shapes the times we inhabit—influencing our identities, senses, and emotions.

In most of my work, I employ photography which allows me to easily incorporate repetition in the art process. The recurrence of similar images or motifs is a strategy that I use to visually think about a subject. In the multiplication of similar images, I find a way to discover those differences that help me to better understand the object that I’m observing or creating. This approach could also extend to other media such as sculpture, video, drawing, and installation. In particular, I like to merge sculpture with photography to visually dismantle existing architectures or sites and reorganize them according to a personal order, offering alternative images that viewers are encouraged to question.

In Windows (2014) I visually deconstruct luxury condos on Riverside Boulevard in New York (among which there are several Trump towers). In this series, I have photographed, precisely, the facades of each and every building, isolating the windows for print, and subsequently mounting the photographs of the windows onto wooden blocks. These wooden blocks become modular elements for composition. I am able then to freely stack the blocks creating impermanent architectural constructions which suggest various forms of resolve in the apparent nature of their making. These compositions are then documented by a final photograph. This method allows for a playful and spontaneous approach to creating new structures from pre-existing ones, in this way suggesting how a soft action can subvert an apparent immutable reality.

Ilaria Ortensi’s work has been part of group shows in London, Berlin, Italy, and the US. In New York her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Jewish Museum, Fisher Landau Center for Art, and the Flux Factory. Born in Italy, she received her MFA from Columbia University in 2015 and is currently part of the Hercules Art/Studio Program in Long Island City and a teaching artist fellow for the Center of Urban Pedagogy in New York.