Sara Scanderebech captures FOPE jewellery in a virtual atmosphere for FOPElab

Posted on 2 October 2023

FOPElab represents an unprecedented format for exploring contemporary visual culture. It offers a conversation between the brand and young talents in photography and the visual arts, invited to interpret FOPE jewellery through a personal eye. The latest FOPElab hosts Sara Scanderebech, artist and photographer, who presents FOPE jewellery immersed in an emotionally charged virtual reality. Sara Scanderebech's photographic diptychs speak of an imagery grafted with elements that play at overturning and transforming the state of the subject from real to virtual. The central idea that emerges from this encounter is the creation of a dreamlike dimension without time or space, an unseen world that hosts sophisticated and technological objects.

Sara Scanderebech (1985) is a photographer and visual artist from Milan. She studied Visual Arts at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts before starting her career as a photographer at the Galleria Carla Sozzani (2008-2016). Her work moves between art, fashion and design and involves close collaboration with various artists, brands and magazines. For Scanderebech, photography is a means of investigating reality and creating new imagery. Since 2017, she has been responsible for the communication at Paradise, a Marsèll concept store in Milan. Her photographic projects have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at CDD, Milan (2022); Spazio Martin, Milan (2022); Arvest! Photo Fest, La Morra, Cuneo (2021); SomoS Art House, Berlin (2022); PhotoVogue Festival, Milan (2022); Biennale Architettura (2023) and CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Turin (2023).

"Having a space for experimentation within the fashion system is very interesting, because mine is a very spontaneous and non-canonical language. I started out as a painter, so I have never considered myself a fashion photographer. This does not detract from the fact that when I come across projects that fit in with my story, as in the case of FOPE, I am pleased to take part in them, also because still life is close to my world and does not require a formalist approach. I believe that the secret of this spontaneity in photography, the same with which I have tried to observe FOPE jewellery, stems from the free gaze of social media, an inclusive language that comes from below and constantly influences contemporary visual culture.

The city is a great source of inspiration for me. I moved to Milan to experience a cultural input of art, cinema and music on a daily basis. Being able to choose, every day, which exhibition to see or where to go to listen to music is essential to me, as they are all elements that I then convey into my own practice. In my daily life I alternate between periods of work in my home-studio and days when I unload and fully experience the city. I realise, however, that I am very attracted to nature, perhaps because I see the more provincial contexts as opportunities for recollection. Mine is a blossoming process, closing in to create and opening up when I need to let stimuli in, and for this, being in the centre is as necessary as getting out.

In my photography, the aim is to detach the vision of reality; my desire is always to create other visions and intrusions. The idea for the project for FOPE came from a photo of a piece of jewellery resting on a screen. From there, I started to think about the possibility of using some of my archive photos, both to have a coherent abstract imagery, and so as not to take other objects into account in the dialogue with the jewellery. I thought for a long time about how to convey the duality between technology and craftsmanship inherent in FOPE jewellery. I wanted the dialogue between the jewellery and the space I designed to emerge. Details of plants, animals, objects and bodies are thus transformed into new symbols in relation to FOPE jewellery. For me it is important to create an emotional tension suspended somewhere between attraction towards the portrayed subject and its rejection.

I see technology as a powerful entry into the world and as an essential tool for my creative making. I love the possibility of using new tools to create, just as I love the social and digital media; so much so that I use them as sources for my aesthetic and formal research. Most of the things I like to do in photography could never have been done twenty years ago: I cannot imagine myself without macro, without auto focus and without a screen. Dealing with FOPE jewellery made me realise how this also applies to jewellery: for example, the Solo bracelet with yellow, rose and white gold rondels amazed me precisely because of the Flex'it technology of the elastic links.

If I could invent a new technology in the field of photography, it would be a micro-binocular capable of approaching an animal or another subject without disturbing it. In my work, the idea of approach and intrusion is fundamental, hence the relationship with the subject. I don't like to steal photographs; rather I always want to relate to and touch what I shoot, especially in nature.

The idea of wearing an object only during a special occasion is not exactly my vision of jewellery; rather I am much more interested in the emotional aspect and the fact that an object can become a part of you, a fetish. The few things I wear are one with my body and I never do without them. It is this simultaneity of the everyday luxury and comfort aspect that I appreciate in FOPE jewellery.

If I had to give some advice to today's young women artists and photographers, I would advise them to keep two aspects always well connected: on the one hand, research, understanding what is around us before we raise our own voice is a fundamental aspect; on the other hand, finding one's own language, one's own characteristics to incorporate them into aesthetic and formal research. Then of course there is the technical side, which you learn slowly and must go hand in hand with the content. I realised what I liked doing in photography quite late. I only found my voice when I built my own language and my own way of making art, when I managed to combine my previous training in painting with my experience in photography." - Sara Scanderebech.

The epitome of the Quiet Luxury trend, FOPE creates 18 carat gold jewellery that whispers, not shouts. FOPE’s Italian designed and made gold jewellery is best-known for its innovative Flex’it system, which creates flexible gold jewellery bracelets that roll onto the wrist without the need for a clasp. These elegant bracelets may look deceptively effortless, but they are in fact the product of years of technological innovations, made with a unique combination of cutting-edge robotic technology fused with traditional Italian goldsmithing expertise.

New for 2023, FOPE has created a series of coloured gemstone flexible gold rings called Souls. This rainbow collection of Flex’it rings, available in white, yellow, or rose gold, is set with a single precious stone. FOPE’s unique method of creating 18 carat flexible gold mesh chain means that these rings are not only comfortable to wear, but have the versatility of being able to be worn on different fingers, depending on the wearer’s mood, or stacked together.

Whether it is to celebrate a marriage or another kind of romantic partnership, or for a best friend or parent, each precious stone within a Souls ring has a meaning which goes beyond a simple choice of colour. With pink or blue sapphires, rubies, emeralds, black diamonds or timeless white diamonds, Souls rings can be worn as a symbol of love, or stacked together to celebrate anniversaries, births, or special occasions. The Souls rings are available in five sizes for both women and men.

FOPE’s Flex’it technology also extends to necklaces. The Luna collection necklaces have a hidden clasp along the seamless round shape of the necklace, while the Solo Flex’it necklaces have a clasp that has become a design feature: a rondel set with a central diamond, on the “o” of the FOPE logo, hides a secret: a button that activates the opening mechanism.

The necklaces can be worn comfortably as chokers in a new shorter length, while standard length versions maintain a perfectly round shape that sits beautifully on the skin, thanks to the Flex’it gold mesh. The Solo necklaces and matching Flex’it bracelets are available with or without additional diamond pavé set rondels for additional sparkle.



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