1883 Magazine
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Beginning life as a multisensory MA project in 2010 by Austrian-born ice cream enthusiast Alexandra Plesner, I Scream Factory was created to explore the “perceptions of life through the medium of ice cream by delving into the metaphoric possibilities of the product.” Alexandra’s need to explore our favourite sweet dessert stemmed from her family’s links to the world of frozen delicacies— a business that has been passed down through five generations. 

 

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Plesner is known for her work as a Creative Director and Project Manager— starting her career at Swarovski Austria, she has since worked with Dazed Digital, Tank Form, Satellite Voices and Purple Magazine. But Plesner’s I Scream project was established during her time as a student at Central Saint Martins. Plesner states that ice cream is a striking metaphor for life’s fragility— and has therefore rounded together some visionary photographers to explore this metaphor through their own aesthetic. This collective project will be temporarily showcased at The Victoria and Albert Museum on November 16th, where the V&A Connects banner will host an evening on how the role of the creative director has evolved through the digital revolution. We caught up with two of the contributors; 20 year old Italian photographer Sara Mautone, who brings an air of youth and vitality to the project. As well as Japanese photographer Takeshi Suga— previously featured on 1883 for his beautiful, nostalgic, dreamy aesthetic, he brings the same whimsical, delicate tone to I Scream Factory.

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Interview with Takeshi Suga

 

How did you get involved in I Scream Factory?

It all started with one email I sent to Dazed Digital in February this year. I wanted them to write about my exhibition at Lomography Gallery Store Tokyo. Fortunately, they liked my work, so they interviewed me for the site. The interviewer was Alex Plesner, who later turned out to be the founder of I Scream Factory. She asked me if I wanted to contribute to her project and I said yes. I liked the sentence written above the banner on the ISF website that reads ‘Life is like ice cream, eat it before it melts. One lick at a time.’ I immediately thought this was something I should be doing.

What do you love about Ice Cream?

I love everything that induces sentimentality and nostalgia in us. Ice cream is definitely one of them, isn’t it? I wasn’t aware of this before joining the collective but ice cream has many metaphoric possibilities, which attracts me as a photographer. 

 

 

How have you used Ice Cream in your photos? What does it represent in your photos?

I want to portray ice cream as a sweet and sentimental vehicle for connecting us to the past. In short, it represents the evanescence of life. I did four shoots so far. The first two were inspired by Japanese fables and our longing for childhood. I shot the third one in a huge rose garden. I wanted to do a mixture of “Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette” aesthetics with a touch of “Ghost World”. The latest one was driven by the delicate and dazzling presence of red spider lily and its floral language (loss, longing and lost memoires).  

What do you hope people will feel from seeing your photos?

I’ll be happy if my photos can evoke any sort of emotion in people, especially comfort and tranquillity.

 

I Scream Factory 

 

Do you look for the ‘multi sensory’ in your artwork?

To be honest, I haven’t really thought about this before but I guess I do. Maybe not so much in this series but my landscape. Some people said to me that my images remind them of shoegazer bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. 

Are you looking forward to the display at the V&A?

Yes, I am! I’m counting the days till it happens!!

What’s your favourite flavour Ice Cream?

Blueberry. 

 

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Interview with Sara Mautone

 

How did you get involved in I Scream Factory?

I met Alex Plesner in June at Luisa Via Roma, one of the most important fashion stores we have in Florence, during their Firenze4Ever event. When she saw my work and asked me to join the I Scream Factory collective I was honoured—I couldn’t wait to shoot with a precise theme to follow. I have never worked that way before doing this set.
What do you love about Ice Cream?

The cone— the perfect end for an ice cream.

How have you used Ice Cream in your photos? What does it represent in your photos?

Ice cream in our pictures is strictly the subject of a commercial campaign. We put together the outfits using tonal repetitions and colours trying to recreate a 60’s-like mood, capturing the models in static yet magnetic poses capable to capture the observer’s attention through gesture and glance.
What do you hope people will feel from seeing your photos?

I hope that they will be impressed by the harmony and attention to detail that permeates these pictures. My usual collaborators Prisca Maizzi and Irene Ghillani did the styling, and I am sure that without their help this work would not have satisfied me so much.

Do you look for the ‘multi sensory’ in your artwork?

Ice cream is an object of desire. It is not possible to perceive its taste or consistency, all you can see is related to the aesthetic of it, most of all its colour. It is not the kind of ice cream you eat with your mouth; it has to be eaten with the eyes. Indeed, our models’ eyes are the real protagonists of the photographs.


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Are you looking forward to the display at the V&A?

Our photos arrived to the V&A museum a few days ago, even if I will not be able to be there I feel absolutely honoured and excited!
What’s your favourite flavour Ice Cream?

Cookies! So fat but so tasty

 

I Scream Factory will be temporarily displayed on November 16th at the V&A. For more information visit iscreamfactory.co.uk

 

Words by Elspeth Merry

 

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