Filippo Venturi


Project Info

Project Description


Since 2015, I have explored the Korean peninsula through my photography, uncovering social phenomena and the results of economic growth and development, as well as the consequent side effects they have had on the population.

Broken Mirror is an artwork which uses documentary language, where I blended my perception of North Korea with that of artificial intelligence. I used the Midjourney software, to which I explained in detail the result I wanted to obtain, and I repeated this operation hundreds of times per image until I obtained a result similar to the one I had envisioned.

I inserted a foreign element into the scenes of the daily life of North Koreans, in the form of insects which grow bigger and more intrusive until they look as if they can control people. Finally, North Koreans themselves turn into insects, thus bringing the endured domination to completion.

The idea at the root of this project is about my job as a documentary photographer on North Korea together with my fascination for science fiction and dystopian scenes – from black and white photography by the great photographers of the past to physical body modifications which are typical of David Cronenberg’s films. In a sense, I drew from my personal database of images, videos, considerations, influences and fears, perhaps not too differently from what artificial intelligence did when putting together the images I wanted,often adding unexpected elements that were out of my control.

Broken Mirror is, therefore, the result of a compromise between myself and artificial intelligence, where the exceptional nature of North Korean society, strongly influenced by one of the harshest totalitarian regimes in the world – which, in actual fact, isolates the country and its citizens – is represented by adding an alien element, in a sort of Kafkaesque metamorphosis. On a second level of reading, this external element, in the form of insects, is a metaphor for the invasive and controlling nature of technology and artificial intelligence in society in general. The use of the Midjourney software (currently in version 6) represented my renunciation of complete control over the final result,as this technology often adds unexpected and not always correctable elements.




Filippo Venturi is a documentary photographer and a visual artist based in Italy. He produces personal projects concerning identity and the human condition. He has documented totalitarian dictatorships in Asia, highlighting in his work the artificiality with which these countries display and narrate themselves to the world, and has witnessed neo-fascist currents in Europe and the movements that, in response, fight to protect minority rights and democracy.

His works have been published in leading international magazines, such as National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Financial Times, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Newsweek, Geo, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Stern, Internazionale, La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera and La Stampa.For the past years he has been engaged in a project on the Korean peninsula, earning him the Sony World Photography award, the LensCulture Emerging Talent Award, the Il Reportage Award, the Voglino Award and the Portfolio Italia – Grand Prix Hasselblad.His works have been exhibited in Italy and abroad in exhibition spaces and festivals like Foro Boario in Modena as “New Talent” of the Modena Photography Foundation, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Somerset House in London, U Space in Beijing, Willy Brandt Haus in Berlin, Sony Square in New York City, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Kaunas Photo Festival, Voies Off Awards at Les Rencontres d’Arles, Photolux in Lucca, SI Fest in Savignano sul Rubicone, Riaperture Photofestival in Ferrara, PhMuseum Days Photo Festival in Bologna and Festival of Ethical Photography in Lodi.

He workswith text-to-image artificial intelligence software, producing visual works that were finalists in the PhMuseum Photography Grant and the Cortona On The Move Award, and awardedat the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Awards and the Fotografia Calabria Festival.He was one of the artists selected by the PhotoVogue Festival, an event where he was also a speaker with a speech entitled “Broken Mirror. A dystopian guide to crossing the border”.


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