Cristina Ferraiuolo is the founder of Spot Home Gallery based in Naples. The gallery aims to become an highlight on contemporary photography. Currently the gallery hosts Dimitra Dede’s Ápeiron exhibition curated by Cristina Ferraiuolo and Michael Ackerman.
Spot Home Gallery inaugurated by holding the exhibition Andamento Lento, a collective exhibition of eight photographers dedicated to Naples. How did this idea come up?
The gallery is a family space to which I am strongly attached. In 1974 my father opened a film shop, Spot 2, in this part of Toledo Street, on the opposite sidewalk, and this house was his office, which later became my home for many years. Here I hosted artists from all over the world who came to the city to work and some of them I invited them to participate in the inaugural exhibition.
Actually, I wanted to start my adventure with a personal story by selecting works made in Naples in over more than twenty years by photographer friends who inspired me and with whom I shared with moments of life, the passion for photography and love for my city.
The Americans Michael Ackerman and Adam Grossman Cohen, the Norwegian Morten Andersen, the Swedish Martin Bogren, the French Richard Pak, the Florentine Lorenzo Castore, the Neapolitan Luca Anzani, belong for me to a ‘family’ of photographers in which emotional ties are intertwined with artistic correspondences. Even with different languages and scripts, we all share the same approach to photography intended as a subjective and emotional expression of one’s way of being and living the world.
The title Andamento lento (Slow pace) also recalls the movement and a time of a photograph that comes from the depths, from feelings, from doubts, from obsessions, from dreams.
Spot Home Gallery aims to become an highlight on contemporary photography, what prompted you to start this new adventure?
It is an idea that was developed over time. It represents for me a point of arrival, the closure of different circles of life, my family history, my previous professional life (I worked as an accountant for 15 years) have been recomposed with the last ones twenty years of my career in photography.
At the same time, it is a new restart, a challenge that arises from the dream of offering my city a space dedicated to photography, and above all to a new photography research that suggests new ways of seeing and interpreting the world and the time we live.
And I don’t think I could ever have done it anywhere else. I wanted this space to retain its soul, also because I believe that the familiar and welcoming atmosphere of a home gallery can help make a relationship with works of art more intimate and direct.
Until January 28th 2022, Dimitra Dede’s personal Ápeiron is on display, curated by you with Michael Ackerman. Can you tell us how the idea for this exhibition was born?
It was not easy to imagine an exhibition after Andamento lento, but I had many months to think about it, since it lasted, between openings and closings, almost a year. I was sure of two things: that I wanted a solo exhibition of a female artist and possibly not yet exhibited elsewhere. In my research, also through small independent publishing houses, I came across the book Mayflies by Dimitra Dede, published by Void and it was a real love at first sight, I felt a deep recognition. Had no doubt that it was what I was looking for. I wrote a very long letter to Dimitra, whom I did not know at the time, offering her to host her first personal exhibition in Naples, at Spot. She replied by accepting it with enthusiasm. And then I asked Michael to help me select the photos and imagine them in space. In September, when he came to visit me in Naples, we designed a possible set-up with the photocopies of the photographs. Then, we almost completely respected that set-up when in October we mounted the exhibition with Matteo Alessandri and Massimo Nicolaci.
What are the upcoming events that Spot Home Gallery is planning?
On the occasion of the Art Days’ the first edition in Naples I prepared a surprise. In addition to the main exhibition, Dimitra’s solo show, in the private spaces of the gallery, between the kitchen and the bedroom, you’ll be able to discover a set-up of unique, unpublished works, artists’ proofs, small and special editions by the photographers I represent: Michael Ackerman, Morten Andersen, Luca Anzani, Martin Bogren, Lorenzo Castore and Eugenia Lecca, Adam Grossman Cohen and Richard Pak. In the first months of 2022, on the other hand, I am planning an artist residency. One of Spot’s activities is in fact to promote and support creation, offering the possibility to selected artists to spend a period of time in Naples and work freely on their own research in communication with a territory that will be the object of exploration and source of inspiration. And consequently, imagine an exhibition and a publication together.
In addition to being a gallery owner and a curator, you are also a photographer, do you have any projects in progress?
I am bringing to completion a European project started in 2019 in collaboration with the universities of 5 European countries on the theme of public social housing. My personal research is currently on standby, my energies are all absorbed in the new activity that I have undertaken, and which really requires a lot of time and a lot of care. Nonetheless, I feel that my path has not stopped, quite on the contrary: my ideas and my gaze continue to enrich and nourish themselves through the wonderful works of artists that I discover and that I frequent.