Alessandra Kila, who describes herself as an ‘explorer of the metaphysical, theoretical and the fantastical’, pushes the boundaries of still-life photography with her strangely juxtaposed compositions, which contextualize her other-worldly take on even the most mundane objects. Kila graduated from the University of Westminster with a master’s degree in photographic studies, and went on to work on numerous collaborative and commissioned photographic projects, both in print and in exhibitions.
Her 2015 monograph Calabria Upon Return is a stunning look at the region in southern Italy where she grew up and features stark portraits of friends, strangers, and landscapes, along with poetic reflections on the photographer’s relationship to the place. She was also commissioned to work with French advertising agency Herezie on the Kronenbourg 1664 campaign, reimagining the celebrated red ribbon logo to portray the bottle in different settings, such the city of Paris or a white sandy beach. But perhaps her most fascinating work lies in her latest series, Exogenesis (or Life Outside of Earth), where the meticulously crafted still-life compositions are actually made from organic matter and found objects collected from her travels around the world.
Taking these objects and materials, she imagines worlds outside our own, along with the beings that inhabit them, presenting beautiful yet haunting photographs awash in a peculiar bluish-purple light. The photographs carry a certain level of emotion in them as well, which Kila says is often hard to convey within the visual language. She views ‘the ability to be carried away by an unexpected association of objects or a fortuitous mistake’ as a crucial part of her creative process, enabling her to elicit such an array of responses.