Daniele Costa


“Video for me is a tool, a way of collecting that becomes almost performative”

AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?

DC: I am a visual artist who uses moving images as means of research. I live and work between Castelfranco Veneto and Milan, spending my studies and the beginning of my artistic career in Venice. I started to devote myself to contemporary art at the end of the three-year course at the university, the beginning of the master’s degree at IUAV was a significant turning point for me because I began to concretize and give shape to thought. I have always been fascinated by video, I began my studies oriented towards cinema, the latter happened to me, but I believe that everything then moved in the direction of contemporary art. Video for me is a tool, a way of collecting that becomes almost performative.


AT: When did it become serious?

DC: The artistic path became real when with my first work, Dead Space, 2016, I managed to win the 100th Collective Young Artists Bevilacqua la Masa in Venice, from that moment all the reflections, research and studies began to materialize really. In my research there has been a figure that has structured me a lot and changed the way I approach my work, Angela Vettese, critic and academic at Iuav in Venice, has brought the reflection to a different awareness and methodology.


AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

DC: I have always been involved in moving images, the research path starts from the body to translate parentheses of life into cinematic matter. The body as an overwriting of identity, a portion of complex matter to which individuality is conferred, the human singularity and the reflections that it projects in the narration of a collective story. Mine is an observational approach, an outlining of visual portions taken from reality and elaborated by the relationship with the other, a disidentification and recombination in favour of the relationship.

Trapezia, 2022 | Still from video

AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?

DC: In my work there is always the idea of trespassing, not to remain tied to the established but always approaching to a fluid and not conveyed vision, that’s why the constant approach with the video medium, where the time of experience is to solidify in favour of the relationship and the continuous performance in search of a visual self that does not exist if not as a performance.


AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

DC: Video for me is a tool, a way of collecting that becomes almost performative.


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the outcome beforehand?

DC: There is a condensed exchange and a common feeling that is held above the approaching bodies, where nothing is ever expected because nothing is being shaped or defined in a pre-established form but only the time of living together.

X, 2020 | Still from video

AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?

DC: There are no particular inspirations, I feel linked and involved in the works of Pierre Huyghe, Hito Steyerl, but it would be extremely reductive to mention just two, I like the contemporary, I think we are living an absolute moment of involvement and sharing between artists, where individuality goes a bit to crumble in alliance with others.


AT: How important is the role of social media for you?

DC: Social media are means/services of communication and it all depends on the purpose that is entrusted to it, the diffusion and awareness through social media is a necessary thing, to pass important content and depth I think it is necessary for our period and for what we are going towards.


AT: What is your opinion about NFTs and their impact on the art world?

DC: The NFT, I must be honest, are things that I approached recently and I’m still thinking about, it fascinates me terribly and at the same time I’m a little afraid of this will of constant virtualization.

Harmony, 2019 | Still from video

AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

DC: Videoart in Italy is still something small and not very followed, many times we tend to confuse video art and documentary, there is absolutely no contraindication, but I tend to wonder why we always need so necessarily such clear and precise labels.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

DC: I think that the most challenging and discouraging thing is that it also becomes the most stimulating thing, to untie ourselves a little from a language always tied to the usual system and throw ourselves into the unpredictability of a form that is changing and is no longer subject, perhaps, to the immobile walls of the houses. Fortunately, I deal with video at 360 degrees, I dare say.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

DC: Future is a strange word, it condenses the time that you live projecting it. I would just like to survive the normality of the medical body and continue to sketch portions of the visual always trying to expand and contradict my research. I have just come out of my last work, Trapezia, and now I feel empty and I think it is the best moment to look through.

Dead space, 2016 | Still from video
Daniele Costa (b. 1992) is an Italia Video artist currently living and working between Venice and Milan, Italy.

His research focuses on the knowledge of the human body in two directions of personal introspection. On the one hand the internal functioning of the human body, based on medical-scientific insights, on the other hand the human singularity, the knowledge of the individual in relation to his history, his world and his person.