Get ready to be catapulted into a boundless universe where the images of Spyros Rennt, the protagonist of our latest cover, dance with audacity and reveal a deeper reality. His new photography book, “Corporeal,” stands as a monument of visual revolution, breaking the chains of the ordinary and opening the doors to an incredible adventure
Text and Interview DOMENICO COSTANTINI
In this sublime photography collection, Spyros Rennt challenges conventions and offers us an unprecedented experience in a world saturated with fleeting and superficial images. “Corporeal” is an authentic testament to the vibrant power of love, joy, and the queer community that permeates Rennt’s existence.
Rennt’s artistic evolution reaches new heights with “Corporeal.” The brilliantly conceived cover by Marwan Kaabour and the captivating preface by Maia Kenney add depth and exquisite refinement to the work. This book represents the culmination of Rennt’s growth as both a photographer and a book publisher, providing a visceral and engaging experience for the audience.
As I flip through the pages, I am engulfed by a whirlwind of unique emotions and sensations. Rennt’s keen gaze captures the very essence of human connection, immersing me in a world filled with intimacy, desire, and a beauty that resonates deep within the soul. Each extraordinary image transports me to a realm where authenticity reigns supreme, unveiling the power of emotions that resonate within us.
These pages stir up whirlwinds of profound emotions and reflections. “Corporeal” is a daring and captivating journey that urges us to transcend predefined boundaries and embrace the complexity of existence. Through Rennt’s visionary eye, we are guided towards new horizons, stimulating the neural pathways of our minds. This visual symphony exalts the body as the privileged subject of Rennt’s iconographic exploration, delving into themes of identity and sexuality. With only the aid of his camera, Rennt captures fragments of a dimension far from the sunlight, yet rich with anthropological suggestions. The subjects in his photographs evoke situations filled with sensuality, where the absence of taboos never descends into explicitness. It is hard not to experience a palpable excitement when contemplating them. The sensual euphoria of liberated bodies, freed from clothing and prejudices, becomes a political act for Rennt.
As you unveil your latest creation, “Corporeal,” the culmination of your self-publishing endeavors, a captivating anthology comprising over 150 portraits that delve into the vibrant nocturnal life of Berlin while exploring the intricate themes of queerness, community, sexuality, freedom, and friendship, please share the profound motivations, ideas, and messages that underpin this remarkable collection. How did you skillfully capture the essence of individuals and places, allowing them to shine through your artistic lens, while championing the visibility and empowerment of LGBTQIA+ communities?
My practice is rooted in documenting my own relationships within the extended queer family of the places I call home, such as Berlin and Athens. Coming from Athens originally and residing in Berlin since 2011, I have spent over a decade going out in clubs and connecting with people from the queer scene. As I embarked on my photography journey, I naturally began documenting those closest to me, as they are the people I am most comfortable with. I believe this authenticity shines through in my photographs, providing an honest portrayal of my subjects.
Within the realm of your iconographic exploration of the human body, identity, and sexuality, how did you capture fragments of the nocturnal dimension, such as clubbing, infusing them with luminous anthropological insights? How did you transform the sensual euphoria and liberation found within these spaces into portraits that encapsulate the very essence of people and moments?
A Berlin party is an ecosystem in its own right—it extends far beyond the dancefloor. Clubs offer various spaces for mingling, socializing, and relaxation, allowing people to enjoy the company of friends and make new connections. The atmosphere is often joyful, with everyone looking their best. As an enthusiastic party-goer myself, I revel in the experience and embrace the art of communication. My photography becomes a documentation of the genuine connections I form within the club environment.
Your work is often described as an ongoing quest for new expressive forms. How do you approach the creative process, and where do you find inspiration to experiment and innovate in your photographic work?
Inspiration can come from anywhere: real-life scenes, movie stills, lines from books, or stories I’ve heard. Combined with the people who surround me and those who enter my life, these sources of inspiration fuel my creative process. It is also crucial to experiment and try new things, even if not every attempt yields success. Failed experiments can still provide valuable lessons and insights.
Are you more of a voyeuristic photographer, discreetly observing from the periphery, or do you actively engage in the experiences, fully embracing and immersing yourself in them? (Because, let’s be honest, claiming that a voyeur remains detached is absurd; with a keen eye and a vivid imagination, one can explore and penetrate even the most forbidden realms.)
It is impossible to document the scenes I do without actively participating in them. When I am at a house party or similar gathering, my camera is often casually placed on a table. When I spot an intriguing situation, I swiftly reach for it (timing is everything!). I never document truly private moments, and if I do capture them, I ensure they are anonymous, focusing solely on body parts.
In this era of ephemeral digital media, where ethereal pixels dance upon cold screens, how do you believe the tangible presence of your photographs, the tactile communion with ink upon paper, influences the perception and interpretation of your art by the audience?
Creating a book, a physical product, is an entirely different experience from sharing images online to be viewed on screens. A book has the potential to live on people’s bookshelves and coffee tables for a long time. Personally, I cherish my collection of photography books, which is why I create them myself. Additionally, making a book allows me to bypass the concerns of censorship and express myself without the fear of “community guidelines.”
Your photographs exude an intimate and authentic quality. Could you reveal the secrets behind your ability to establish such a profound connection with your subjects, capturing their essence with such potency?
I am genuinely enthusiastic about the individuals who pose for me, and my goal is to capture them in all their honesty and beauty. I believe this enthusiasm transfers to my subjects as well. Establishing comfort and trust between the subject and the photographer is crucial. If the subject isn’t at ease, it will reflect in the final image, wasting both the model’s and the photographer’s time—something no one desires.
What role do you believe photography plays in bringing forth important issues and sparking social awareness?
Photography plays a crucial role, especially in today’s age of social media. It allows for the dissemination of information from all corners of the world, often in real-time. Information empowers individuals, and a single image has the ability to convey and transmit a wealth of information.
Thursday, July 13th, 2023
from 6pm until 8.30pm
Via Antonio Kramer, 20, Milan