Augusto Pieroni – Photography and Creativity

Augusto Pieroni, thank you for giving me this interview. 05-feb-2015

foto © gabriele fasulo

photograph by © gabriele fasulo

In the preface of your book: “Leggere la fotografia” (Reading Photography – 2003) you wrote that in two decades of teaching you’ve always been following the old Chinese dictum: «If you want to do good to a man, don’t give him fish: teach him to fish». I wonder: is it really possible either to teach creativity or to show people their way to it?

We can’t teach it, but I think we can give valuable hints and clues. It’s a truly thrilling job, made of an enormous amount of information, experiences, examples – both positive and negative etc. It takes a lot of generosity, basically, but also patience, curiosity, skill and – oddly enough for one like me – synthesis. In doing this work I seldom provide instructions, I feel rather like exploring together with the students; actually I can never exactly predict what I shall be dealing with at every lesson. There are issues that need to be tackled and delt with in a new and fresh way every time, such as: personal works in progress, the growth of a student as an author, the creative processes undergoing, cognitive novelties and so on and so forth.

Many practitioners dream of becoming professional creatives, but some might argue that creativity is a gift only for a few. Does struggling our way to creation makes us also proficient as photographers? In other words: could a photographer, stripped of any technical ability, ever achieve creativity?

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