Juxtaposing elements from different realities was one of the cornerstones of the surrealist movement, which adopted Lautrément’s phrase – “the chance juxtaposition of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table” - as the manifesto of a new aesthetic based on disorientation and contradiction. By including remarkably incongruous objects in their works, these artists aimed to challenge our expectations, to free the mind from what it already knows and from automatic mental associations. Each of Fausto Meli’s photographs also contains an anomalous element; but in his case, it is neither particularly incongruous nor ostentatious. In fact, it is sometimes so unobtrusive as to be detectable only by paying close attention to the image. The unexpected elements in this artist’s works have a connection with what is shown in the photographs, (futuristic building, a castle on the sea, an old library, a volcanic island...); he creates encounters that have the power to generate new beauty, open up new meanings, new reflections...
(from the introduction by Gigliola Foschi)
The cutting of an image has an element of paradox: it forces us to come to terms with the materiality of somethng we instinctively deem intangible. John Mitchell, in his Pictorial Turn, dissolves this apparent contradiction when he distinguishes between images and pictures, arguing that "A picture appears on a material background or in a specific place. [...] An image never appears unless in a determined medium, but it also trasends media and can be transferred from one medium to another.".
It follows, therefore, that you do not make cuts in an image, but rather, a picture. But adjusting or touching a picture inevitably means generating new images and this is the precise area the work of Colomba D'Apolito explores, pushing and challenging limits and possibilities. This process of cutting and cropping that works on the support not because of an ant-modern stance, but because of an equally precise choice of field.
(from the critical text of Enrico Gullo, Art Historian and PdD in art history)
Pierre André Podbielski is a companion on this journey: travelling
through museum corridors and across illuminated rooms where artworks are
watching visitors, rather than being watched by them. They have watched
the audience of art lovers that has kept me company for five years, an
audience that I see again, with all its peculiarities, in Pierre André's
photographs. However his photographic time, his aesthetic surprise
inside the exhibition space has one thing that I do not. This is
something that belongs
to real photographers, to men like Elliott Erwitt. Pierre André is an ironic, amused, suspended and detached, but sympathetic photographer. In his photographs, it is the smile that binds everything, holding the images together, telling their stories even better.
Photographic irony is an enviable gift, because photography is by its nature always balanced in a state of tension: it is always serious; the seriousness of the realities we experience, and it is always rhetorical. It is the way photography can stop time that makes it so solemn, its way of placing the moment the shot was aken at the centre of our gaze that makes photography a rhetorical moment, in the best sense of the word.
(from the introduction by Roberto Cotroneo)
The shaded area in which we hide away from ourselves is so large that it is impossible to even attempt to describe our identity. Those familiar with this shaded area know that to get beyond it you need to undertake a long, hard and at times painful journey down memory lane. Everybody has images from their past which, the more they reveal the profound essence of things and people, the more surprising they are; they clarify this grey area we all have to confront in a way which words cannot, but which photography can; they expose what we are and how we got there. Nonetheless, the past is not inert, and our journey is a game of mirrors where fragments of self awareness and memory, of love and lack of it, of reality and imagination become jumbled up, one moment familiar, the next unsettling. As if the moments we alone recall, and with which we order the months, days and years of our lives, are whimsical, a little bit here and a little bit there. Never diachronical but willy-nilly, typical of haphazard memory. Some return, reassuringly. Others take us who knows where, to elsewheres we have inhabited and lived. They are the pieces of an ever-changing puzzle which is our present, the difficulty is putting them together … later on. And so it is that memories change, just as we change, and they betray us, or, sometimes we betray them. We are wrapped around who we were in a spiral of explanation and interpretation of our world, which, on the last curve replenishes the memory we hold within: the yesterday where we come from. It enriches it, at times actually recreates it. […]
[…] Even when we are faced with an unfinished work of art, the greatness of the authordefines it and makes it magnificent in itself: it is the Unfinished. In fact, it is preciselybecause it has not been concluded that the artist cloaks himself in legend and in a furtherstory that embellishes hisexistence since the immortality of his genius will always be tracedback to his mortal being. The genius is still among us-immortal-, but through thatincompleteness we remember that it was like us–mortal. But an unfinished work of art tellsus even more: it tells us about the creative process, the authorial gesture’s desire that wants toreach the essence, the genius’ vitality that struggles with the indolence of illness, the mysteryof a mind who does not notice the created beauty and abandons it, acontradictory era, like alleras, which establishes the canons but does not recognize the masterpieces. No unfinishedwork of art is minor, precisely because it is more open than a finished work of art. To fullyunderstand the wonder that such incompleteness causes, it is enough to dwell on thediscomfort that instead produces another type of unfinished works: infrastructural, building,urban ones. […]
Franco Carlisi’s eye keeps catching some “off-screen”
images and gives them back to us, I would say just as a narrator, with
an extraordinary liveliness and intensity.
An absent look, a distracted bride, the suffering aspect of a parent for the coming separation.
They are photos that will never enter the official album authorized to be the matrix of memories. The dressmaker breaking a thread of the bride’s immaculate dress with her teeth would be out of place.
The wedding photos usually long for elusiveness, lightness, purity, solemnity.
Instead, through Carlisi’s eye, everything becomes physical, strong experienced, real, without half tones. See the bride breastfeeding her child.
Aren’t they a story of great expressive strength?
Someone who is called Lenin must have a certain destiny. Strong is the imprinting, the connotation of the struggle of the peasants, the popular conscience, the great Communist dream dashed upon the rocks of Soviet dictatorship, but which in our Emilia part of the Po valley, has remained an unrealised utopia. Therefore, those who bear what is more of an honour than a burden may be understood if they dedicate their existence to the simple life of the fields, painted with the colours of the countryside, scented with the smell of hay and stables, framed by the sunsets when the grass changes colour. It is the work in the fields and the peace of nature that brings humans closer to poetry. The poetry of things and the soul, a language that feeds on the vibrations of the damp, fertile earth which at other times is also arid.[...]
The photographic gaze of Paolo Simonazzi perfectly captures the nature of the objects and brings them back to life in their essence made of pastel colours, creative chaos, fragments of a lived life. The opaque mirror which reflects the old typewriter, the brass lamp that hangs from a ceiling of warn beams, the old broken down Jaguar, almost an oxymoron in the proletarian context it is nestled in, the stable with its crooked doors opened out where the animals feed on light and freedom far from the dark mechanised farms, the bizarre clock with the image of Che Guevara on the handmade doily on the dresser, the pendulum on the wall and the old photo of a football team in black-and-white: this is the universe that lives again thanks to the sensitive exploring lens of Simonazzi, the world of objects that seem to stand guard with silent testimony over the peaceful passing of the seasons, when, after the winter, as Zucchero Fornaciari, another child of these lands, sings, the snowfields bloom. A small world, but with a great heart.
172 pages, format mm 220 x 300.
The publication is aimed at an audience of professionals photographers, artists, gallery owners, amateurs and operators of cultural sector as a source for further study, debate and anticipation of creative trends.