In Cosimo Filippini’s work, the use of the photographic medium does not rely on its aesthetic or spectacular potential, but rather on its capacity to function as a means of reflection on the interrelation between reality and image, speculating on the meaning of time and space while exploring the boundaries, the glitches, and the paradoxes of representation.
Filippini’s reflection on time covers the single instant captured in a photo as well as the duration encapsulated in the history of the photographed subject, being also mindful of the lapse of time a photo might experience lying forgotten at the bottom of a drawer before being reinstated in the realm of space to become part of an accomplished art project or discourse. The different positioning of a printed photo – an objective presence that occupies, and therefore modifies, the perception of space – can power tensions between real and figurative space, bewildering and surprising the viewer. Subsequently, his focus shifted to experience, using photographs as result of the relationship with matter and people.
The rational and methodological premises of this practice, founded on the recognition of the authenticity and uniqueness of experience, provide the possibility for outcomes that, as if via a counter-discourse, may ultimately bear a sense of wonder and a note of poetry.
Cosimo Filippini was born in Lugano. In 1999, he moved to Milan where, in 2004, he graduated in Economics for Arts, Culture and Communication from Università L. Bocconi and, in 2006, earned his piano diploma from the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music. In 2006, he began working as a photographer, at first collaborating with the art and architecture photographer Václav Šedý with whom he had the opportunity to further study the use of the view camera. From 2010 he specialized in photographing exhibitions and artworks. An activity that leads him to collaborate with numerous galleries and institutions internationally.
The relations he established with these personalities and institutions prompted Filippini to engage a reflection on his work by undertaking his current artistic practice, which has led to exhibitions in Switzerland and Italy.
In 2018, he was granted an artist residency by ProHelvetia, the Viavai+ project, and participated in VIR – Via Farini in Residence in Milan. In 2020 he was invited by the Kirchner Museum in Davos to do photographic performances on portraiture and held his first solo show in a public museum, Museo d’arte di Mendrisio - Casa Pessina.
Recently, his attention has turned to participatory art practices, as in the residency project Adamà Adamà, figli della terra rossa at Casa degli Artisti di Milano, during House of Switzerland, a program by Pro Helvetia and Presence Switzerland, the office of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. In 2023, he was invited by the Lugano Pension Fund to create Intermezzo a project on photographic portraiture experience.
His works are part of the following public collections: Collezione del Cantone Ticino (part of MASI, Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana), Mendrisio Museum of Art, various institutions in the City of Lugano.