This Friday, Amsterdam-based photographer Sebastiaan Pagano Mirani (1989) opens his first solo exhibition, called Nothing Lasts Forever. Pagano is a young photographer whose noisy, diaristic analogue photos draw inspiration from his emotions. One of his earlier projects was based on his dealing with the loss of his father, using photography to capture his feelings in as honest a way as possible. With Nothing Lasts Forever, Pagano showcases fragments of fear, sex and death in order to express how he experiences life. In this interview, Pagano talks about his reasons to share such personal work with the world, and his exhibition, which he calls a “firebrand against nurtured numbness”.
‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ sounds like a kind of life lesson. What do you want to say with it?
First of all, I wouldn’t call it a life lesson. Who am I to tell people what to do? I’m already happy if people just think when they look at my work. I could try to transfer my interpretations on the viewer, but it’s not my intention to give them one specific feeling or to tell them one specific story.
However, for me personally, it’s a life lesson indeed. Nothing Lasts Forever is about the concept of time, it’s about a connection with the moment. It helps me to live in the moment and not to focus on the future or the past. You can try to live as extreme as possible, trying to experience everything at the same time, however, this makes me restless and it makes it impossible to really experience life. This restlessness is something I try to fight against and I think it’s a recognizable struggle for a lot of people. For example, I hear people often complain about the bullshit posted on Facebook, but at the same time, they scroll several hours a day to look at this bullshit. That’s an example of what I call ‘nurtured numbness’. With my exhibition, I want to focus on the opposite state of mind, so it's a firebrand against nurtured numbness.