Milan, 1971. Paola de Grenet began her career as a photographer in 1999, after studying Graphic Design at the Camberwell College of Arts in London, and in 2003 she settled in Barcelona. She has published her work in media outlets such as The Guardian, The Observer, Fuera de Serie (El Mundo), El País and The New York Times.
During the COVID-19-induced state of alarm, Paola de Grenet had different and contradictory feelings. On the one hand, she experienced a long list of fears: isolation, living with family members 24 hours a day, not being able to give kisses and hugs, responsibility for her children’s education, loss of work, contagion... On the other hand, she felt that freedom is a state of mind and that silence allows your “inner voice” to be heard. The project Viviendo con la covid [Living with COVID] emerged from this voice. She made her family her muses and the subject of this series because, according to the photographer, “we were all going through a common reality where family became our whole world. The internal world was the external world”. In an ironic and critical manner, she invites us to reflect on the sweeping changes brought about by the pandemic and the experiences we have shared.
Fear of Contagion
They made me reflect on the outlandish outfits that people created during the lockdown to go outside and feel protected.
Regina de Rotoloni
Compulsive shopping baffles me. I still don't understand the excessive panic over running out of toilet paper in the early days and weeks of the state of alarm.
Warped. Sense of Time
Our reactions to such a strange situation are unbelievable. Observing them is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. The circumstances amidst panic and agitation shock me.
The risk that supermarkets could be left with limited stock on account of the lack of transportation infrastructure was real during the lockdown. It sparked the fear of missing those things that, however ephemeral, give us a certain illusion of security.
Living in a Fish Tank II
The list of fears is long... The fear we feel of being with ourselves, of isolation, of living 24/7 with family members. These are times of sweeping changes and this pandemic has propelled us into the future.
Don’t Touch, Wash your Hands
The thought of not being able to leave the house for an indefinite period of time has awakened many different and sometimes contradictory feelings in me, such as not being able to freely give kisses and hugs given the fear of contagion to yourself, your family members and distant and close friends.
Screen Heads III
I think of the Internet as the extension of ourselves and, in this case, as the extension of our fears, which have been amplified by the effect of social media. It is as if our fear has been moved to an augmented reality.
The portraits of my children and my husband, all of a sudden, not only portray my reality but that of many families, in Barcelona and in cities all over the world, and the objects that dress them have become their ideas and their feelings. Fiction and reality, interior and exterior, nature and culture overlap in an inclusive way.
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