Swiss-based Venezuelan visual artist and photographer, Ronald Pizzoferrato investigates the phenomenon of migration. For «The Path of the Objects», he returned to his native South America to accompany the flow of people crossing the border between Venezuela and Colombia, many of whom travel by foot, carrying only small backpacks with their most essential belongings.
Pizzoferrato registered, in video and photography (sometimes experimenting with 3D effects), the path of migration through these personal objects and what they represent to their owners – not only before the journey but also how their significance was transformed during the process.
A Spiderman towel, for instance, lost its bathroom purpose and became a symbol of justice and freedom for a mother and son during the journey. A worn-out football represented joy and was a chance to make new friends. A rope and some patches became a new item which helped its owner on the route.
From the beginning of the process, the artist took a participatory approach, aiming to interpret the value of these items. Together with the migrants, he questioned how objects can create an identity and why certain items have a personal, emotional, and spiritual meaning.
Pizzoferrato’s project should result in a book, to be released by the end of 2021.
ABOUT RONALD PIZZOFERRATO
Ronald Pizzoferrato (born 1988 in Caracas) is a Venezuelan-Italian visual artist and photographer, resident in Bern since 2014. His works are the result of prolonged design and ethnographic research (workshops, interviews, participant observation, etc.) with a visual focus. Pizzoferrato documents and investigates social phenomena and conflicts in his native country Venezuela. Additionally, he works on international projects related to identity, migration, violence, poverty, and decolonization. Besides his self-initiated projects mainly in Latin America, he works as a freelance photographer for NGOs, like Vivamos Mejor, and other institutions. He won the Globetrotter World Photo prize in 2018 with his project about Caracas and received the Förderpreis 2020 for his work «Plomo», about the semiotics of violence in the Venezuelan capital.