nordest graffiti

Davanti alla fotografia di un bel paesaggio o, se preferite, davanti a una bella fotografia di un bel paesaggio, mi capita di fermarmi a pensare: «ma non sarà che la fotografia risulta piacevole perché, semplicemente, mostra l’immagine di una bella cosa?» C’è questo bel paesaggio e, certamente, un paio di accortezze tecniche del fotografo, ma la sostanza di ciò che comunica e rappresenta non potrebbe stare proprio lì? In ciò che si mostra? 

Davanti a quella foto immagino l’autore dello scatto come un fotografo-cacciatore-raccoglitore, un umile riproduttore di quello che c’è, un tassodermista del ready-made. 

Così, fotografando un bel tramonto avremo una bella foto di un tramonto? Probabile [dico io] e se fotografassimo un’ imponente montagna avremo quindi una fotografia che esprime sontuosità? Sì, credo sia uno dei risultati più prevedibili.  Volendo vedere così le cose, l’autore o gli autori, appaiono (se appaiono), come un dettaglio trascurabile, una piccola barchetta a remi in mezzo alle onde di un oceano di belle immagini. 

Forse è stato anche per il desiderio dei fotografi di rimettersi al centro della questione, di puntare nuovamente l’attenzione verso l’atto del fotografare che, negli ultimi decenni, si è fatto un gran vezzo di immortalare cose brutte per ricavarne delle belle foto: foto-grafie di immondizia, reportage del degrado o esposizione di angoli bui che normalmente non meriterebbero attenzione. A questo punto, spesso senza soluzione di continuità, nel fluire delle immagini che mi si rovescia addosso, passo dal pormi domande di fronte a quel bel paesaggio al ritrovarmi rigido davanti alla foto flashata di uno sputo sopra una mattonella e, quel pensiero iniziale che mi interrogava sul senso del riprodurre la bellezza, diventa l’idea che, col nobile fine di rinsaldare il rapporto tra autore ed opera, la fotografia stia naufragando nel mare della riproduzione ossessiva di roba brutta che vorremmo solo tenere a debita distanza, una sorta di nuova estetica dell’esotico o, come mi piace definirla, l’allegoria del rifiuto.

Allora ho provato anch’io ad aggirarmi in zone dimenticate, in posti indicati come degradati o, nella migliore delle ipotesi, in via di valorizzazione, per inquadrare, selezionare e trasformare la merda in arte (o almeno in una bella fotografia) ma, per quanto mi sforzassi, i tentativi non coprivano l’odore originale, metaforicamente parlando, mi trovavo sempre davanti a fotografie di merda (merda come complemento oggetto, ma anche no).

Non riuscendo però ad andare oltre e ritrovandomi a un punto morto della questione, che lascio volutamente aperto, mi limiterò a intendere la cosa così: se poniamo come assioma che una fotografia di una cosa bella ha buone possibilità di essere una bella foto (non ho detto interessante od originale), così, semplicemente per merito di ciò che mostra, allora potremo asserire che se invece la foto è orrenda allora buona parte del demerito andrebbe a ricadere sul soggetto ritratto e non sull’autore. 

Insomma potrete anche dire che queste foto-grafie fanno schifo, ma allo stesso tempo non potrete asserire con altrettanta sicurezza che sia tutta e solo colpa mia, prendetevi le vostre responsablità di osservatori una buona volta.​

Nordest Graffiti is the last chapter of an on-going long-term projectwith which I intend to show and draw those spaces left empty inside the lattice of the so called ‘Spread-Cities’.

Through years of research, I have been able to observe and highlight how strongly the form of urban space affects social dynamics and viceversa. It is from this awareness that "Nordest Graffiti" is born; from the need to express the existing parallelism between the virtual (Internet, Social Forum) and the real (urban landscape and society) by using the key of the cinematographic language, both in the aesthetic and conceptual senses.

The body of work of this project is built by panoramic images (16:9 and 5:2) displayed in a series of images that could be discarded in a hypothetical movie editing job.

 

Being able to take some time to reflect on yourself will be soon considered a luxury, because if we really could do it, we would realise how different our lives are from their representation. The era of social forums is swallowing lives and spewing endless film montages made of highlights of some small ordinary moments painted as a principal scenes. Everything that is in the middle of it, in the empty spaces between one selfie and another, becomes nothing. Just like in a network where only connections and intersections count, the space outside these places is wasted, forgotten, abandoned, so that we are giving ourselves the illusion of living a life as if it were a movie; an uninterrupted flow of famous scenes, selected moments without any waste of time or space, an artificial and selective memory aimed at tampering with existence in order to follow the new aesthetic rules of social sharing. This representation of the time we are living in is peculiar to the shape of the modern ‘Spread Cities’; a sprawling kind of cities where villages and rural areas around the main centres become urbanised, often with low density housing.

North-East Graffiti is a photographic research project that seeks to explore those almost empty spaces as "cut scenes" which appear as not worthy of being "shared", far from the main flow and antipodes with respect to the human concentration of big cities, and far from the main places of mass meetings or from the huge infrastructures and ways of communication. Nordest Graffiti propose a collection of production scraps from a movie that everyone would like to see, and discards pieces of a hypothetical catchy film made to be loved but  just a surrogate of our need for acceptance.

 

Before a photograph of a beautiful landscape or, if you prefer, a beautiful photograph of a beautiful landscape, I suddenly stop to think: “What if this photograph just looks pleasant because it shows the image of a beautiful thing?”. If looking at this beautiful landscape, besides noticing a few technical expedients on the part of the photographer, doI become aware that what it communicates and represents is all right there? In what does it show?

So before that photo, I imagine the author as a photographer hunter-gatherer, a humble reproducer of what is there, a taxidermist of the ready-made, and so moreover I ask myself: “if we photograph a beautiful sunset, we will have a nice picture of a sunset?" Probably [I repeat to myself], and then "if we photograph an imposing mountain then will we have a photograph that expresses sumptuousness?" Yes, [I think] it is one of the most predictable results.

 

Wanting to see it like this, the author or the authors, will appear (if they appear) as a negligible detail, a small rowing boat in the middle of the waves of an ocean of beautiful images.

Perhaps it was also due to the desire of photographers to get back to the centre of the question, to redraw the attention to the act of photographing, that in recent decades, it has turn into a great habit of immortalising bad things to get some nice photos such as photos of garbage, reportage of degradation, exposure of dark corners that normally would not deserve attention. At this point, often without interruption and in the flow of images that falls on me, I ask myself questions before that beautiful landscape, finding myself stiff in front of a flashed photo of a spit on a brick wall.That initial thought that questioning the sense of reproducing beauty (as we commonly understand it) becomes the idea that, with the noble purpose of strengthening the relationship between author and work, photography is sinking into the sea of ​​obsessive reproduction of ugly stuff that we would just like to keep very far from ourselves; a sort of new aesthetics of the exotic or, as I like to define it, the allegory of rejection.

That is because I tried to walk in forgotten areas, in places marked as degraded or, at  best, in the process of exploitation; to frame, select and transform the shit into art (or at least into a beautiful photograph). Yet it no matter how hard I tried, not one of my attempts captured the original scent, metaphorically speaking, as I was still before  photographs of shit (shit as an object, but also as a subject).

However, failing to go further and finding myself at a standstill of the matter, which I leave deliberately open, I will limit myself to see it like this: "if we put as an axiom that a photograph of a beautiful thing has a good chance of being a nice picture (I’m not saying interesting or original), simply because of what it shows, then we can say that if the photo is horrendous, most of the demerit would fall on the subject and not on the author.

In short, you can also say that these pictures are disgusting, but at the same time can you assert with equal confidence that it is all only my fault? And if it’s not could you take your responsibilities as observers this time?

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