In my forest series – Lanscapes in the darkness

Paesaggio al buio – landscape in the darkness (PB-021) 2013, c print, cm 39×29

I consider these works the most evocative of the entire project. Comparing them with the large bronze folios or with the big shattered ceramics, but in general terms connecting them with all the other works of the project, we notice a different approach to the theme. This work may appear, for the aesthetic results obtained (unusual size and unusual means of expression), less sensational than the others. However, what I was looking for, using these works as a go-between, was not the outcry, but the innermost reason (or at least one of the

reasons) that gave rise to the entire expressive path. Everything, apparently, took place in a period of one summer evening night in a city park waiting for the beginning of an outdoor show. The twilight offered a perceptible dark, a visible darkness only waiting to be captured. It was a natural set that allowed the understanding of an image almost totally annihilated by black. With the aim to crystallize the almost-nothing, I run out the creative phase of all this work in a few minutes.

The technical means used, even though a refined one, could be considered inadequate to deal with complex photographic problems, made even more arduous by the decision to avoid to use support instruments (such as lights for example) for night photography. I tried, intentionally, to cancel to some extent

the slightest aid (also flash function was eliminated), and I rely sic et simpliciter to the machine in the same way we would rely to a slab on which we wanted to impress an image.I tried to use the camera of the mobile phone as a copy machine, a copier of images able to reproduce simply what the eye catches,

demanding to a superior function the understanding of the contents. In the same way in which the organ of sight takes possession of an event and transmits it for its elaboration, the camera was used to catch an image with the aim to give it back purified to our vision.

Paesaggio al buio – landscape in the darkness (PB-034) 2013, c print, cm 39×29

Paesaggio al buio – landscape in the darkness (PB-022) 2013, c print, cm 39×29

A landscape, the landscape, does not contain any particular characteristic. It can be horrific, wonderful, romantic, rough or more simply it cannot be. Its value depends completely and merely on the subject who is looking at it, on the way in which the subject looks at it, as the landscape doesn’t contain in itself any absolute value. In the same way in which the eye provides us with an image at which, through an upper elaboration, we give a sort of value, so the camera of the mobile phone was used as an instrument of mere understanding of an image which, through the following print, is restored to our intimate processing. Obviously, the selection of the moment,

the selection of the shot, to some extent direct and influence the vision (this is our task) but it is also true that the final and unique perception belongs completely to the subject who stands in front of the work.I like to say that these works are made up of little, very little, almost nothing. The subsequent step of printing has given a contribution to contain that little that the camera had captured: the use of a paper which, for its peculiarities, absorbs part of the color wasted by the printer has rendered the final outcome even more evanescent.

In these works, there is no light, the color is almost completely canceled by the dark. Black (and its various chromatic components) often dominate the scene, the photographic effects are inexistent, the perspective of the landscape is resetted, even the same subject used is not particularly pictoresque, but however, in spite of the considerations stated before, the work evocative ability, according to my opinion, remains completely untouched. The vision of the work requires, obviously in the subject prepared, the will to participate. We place ourselves in front of the work and we start looking for what is impossible to see, what is not there, what we would like to find. This lack, this shortage of the image, actually give us back in full the proper role (or at least one of them if not the most important) of a work of art. In this way the ability to induce reflection and the visual participation are emphasized, allowing to re-create in the spectator a contemplative anxiety that probably expresses an urgent necessity that precedes and sometimes is independent from the same process of making art.

Milan May 16 2013

Paesaggio al buio – landscape in the darkness (PB-001) 2013, c print, cm 39×29