PAOLA BAZZ: IDENTITY & CONSUMERISM
Italian artist Paola Bazz creates complex 3D and 2D collages by manipulating, transforming, selecting, cutting and folding paper. She uses a variety of techniques to create portraits of strangers, faces that she often finds on magazines or social media platforms. The artist recycles different kinds of paper and uses them as a medium to produce her collages.
Paola’s work explores the constant change of human identity, which she believes to be the mirror of our society. Her choice of using recycled materials, such as leaflets and magazines, symbolises the way advertising messages are delivered to us every day, feeding a culture of consumerism which contributes to the increase of material consumption. The artist believes “consumerism is degrading the stability of ecosystems and the ability to provide humans and other species with healthy environments”. In addition, along with material possessions, she argues consumerism functions as a way to create a sense of self, playing a key role in the shaping of identity.
Paola explains how “we build our identity around what we consume” and that because objects are disposable “in the same way our identities are also temporary and changeable, in a state of continuous flux”. Paola’s work reflects this concept of identity, and is intact in a constant state of change. Her collages change appearance according to the viewer’s position in the room, inviting people to think beyond what is immediately visible. In many ways Paola’s work represents universal features of the cultural environment we live in, and provides the viewer with a constant record on contemporary culture.