The pictures of the project Et fiat lux feature simulacra, perfect imitations of real flowers.
The meticulous compositions echo the aesthetics of Dutch Baroque still life paintings (nature morte), producing an initially familiar image for the viewer, that actually stems from a carefully built trans- historical and trans-cultural configuration. The subject and the result of the photograph rely on its ambiguity: the bouquets look composed of real fresh flowers from afar, and only by getting closer it is possible to notice that they are fake.

The entire Et fiat Lux project is constructed with different media and all of them share the investigation of a certain number of elements, approaching them through different methodologies and approaches. Between these elements, ambiguity, fictions, light and the making of art: reproduction are of pivotal importance.

The first part of the project Et fiat Lux is made by 9 photographs. Inspired by baroque still life paintings, these images are pure colour compositions that evoke classical aesthetics.

The second part of the project Untitled, TESLA is a photographic installation and represents the process of the ikebana making in the artist studio. The sculpture produces electricity by the generator that powers neon lamps outside the sculpture. The alternating electric waves, produced by the generator, cause the constant blinking of the neon lamps. The vision of the installation seems to suggest the latitude of transfiguration, that presents the same ambiguity as an alchemical transformation, hovering between illusion and scientific precision.

In series After Et fiat lux, the ikebana are composed just with the vegetal bushes (without flowers), while the presence of flowers is rather evoked by the light. The light irradiation occurs in the darkroom in the phase of production: after the film exposure and before the process of developing. The film (4x5 inch) is insert into a non-transparent and at spots perforated wrapper
and exposes it in the darkroom with lights of different colour that create glowing light prints on some parts of the images. Each of the glow it is controlled by the shielding, well thought and not left by chance, to allow a selective passage of the light. Each image is therefore unique and unrepeatable because the effect of light is completely unpredictable.

In her works, Spela Volcic highlights two fundamental questions concerning not only the essence of photography that she uses besides installation, but more generally the nature and the making of art: reproduction and fiction.
In art just as in life, every single production is re-production. Nothing stems from nothing, and everything is generated from the reproduction of something. Photography – that was invented in the 19th Century, in the so-called machine age, evolved through the 20th Century and transformed in the present era of digital technology – reproduces not only the world but also itself, for its identity is contained in the very concept of reproduction.
In this complex research, Spela Volcic uses photography to reproduce artificial flowers which, in turn, are reproduced. We are presented with two passages: the first from nature to the constructed that imitates nature, and the second from the constructed that imitates nature to the photographic image that reproduces it. All this causes a mise en abyme, a significant concatenation, a superimposition between the real, the re-made/re-produced and the image that reproduces and is itself reproducible.

Roberta Valtorta
Et fiat lux, Roberta Valtorta; Pazzini Editore, Rimini, Italia (2018)