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Once We Were Here

Nicolò Sertorio

Filter Photo is pleased to present Once We Were Here, a solo exhibition of work by Nicolò Sertorio.

Nicolò Sertorio considers himself privileged: white, male, educated, healthy, living in the Western world. He is, however, admittedly part of a ‘disenchanted generation’ born after WWII when globalization seemed like a great idea, a path towards unification, only to be awakened to a hard reality of inequality and environmental abuse. Contemporary media is filled with alarming news: ice melting, fresh water contamination, overpopulation, corporate greed, food poisoning, oil dependency, and wealth inequality, among other things. It seems the world has lost its mystery to become the playground of the very few at the expense of the many. Nicolò Sertorio’s photographs address the resulting sense of powerlessness that has left communities disenfranchised, resulting in a lack of social or environmental accountability.


Presented as a hypothetical archeological study on the nature of co-existence, Once We Were Here presents the viewer with a world where humanity’s need for insatiable consumption has led it to the ultimate consumption: the consumption of the self. We are shown a world where the selfishness of humanity has disappeared yet nature remains in its solemnness. Nature has endured and overcome the weight of humanity’s selfish behaviors and we are reunited with nature’s beauty and mystery.


About the Artist

Nicolò Sertorio is an artist based in Oakland, CA (born in Italy). He grew up influenced by both European and American culture in a family with a long tradition in academia, arts, and science. This multicultural and scientific upbringing influenced him to be both analytical and explorative.  Traveling extensively and living in many countries from an early age has left him with a unique combination of European sensibility and complex, and at times conflicting, worldviews.


Sertorio’s artistic language is made of direct, well-composed and honest inquiries that are expressed with a juxtaposition of objectiveness and beauty. Focusing on a sense of place, identity, and who we are both internally and externally; the resulting projects portray a visual landscape for the viewer to enter, raising a question to be answered. He has lectured and taught in the US and Europe was a 2015 Critical Mass finalist and has exhibited work throughout the US and internationally.


On View: November 3 – 25, 2017

Location: Filter Space | 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 207

Filter Photo is proud to acknowledge the support of the David C. & Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation in producing this exhibition.

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