domenica 12 febbraio 2012

Fogli dei giorni / Leafing through the days



A Marzo, uscirà questo mio nuovo lavoro.
Questa la copertina.
160 pp.
Headmaster edizioni

venerdì 23 settembre 2011

Cambiare paesaggio interiore


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHLcxvw-qLE

A Dundee, in Scozia, sono stati abbattuti quattro grandi palazzi, neppure troppo malvagi per gli standard italiani.
Certo, ci vuole un certo coraggio, e ci saranno state polemiche, discussioni. C'erano 600 appartamenti!
In rete ci sono molti video, ne ho visti diversi, ma questo è il più bello di tutti. (vedi link)
Si sentono i gabbiani, la ripresa è stata fatta da una camera di una casa, il suono è chiaro.
Questa persona che ha girato il video, per anni avrà visto accendersi e spegnersi le luci in quei palazzi. Magari con una "cup of tea" fra le mani. Ora la linea del paesaggio è pulita, ma qualche voltà ricorderà il concerto di piccole luci accendersi e spegnersi all'alba e al tramonto, e di notte di quelli che non riescono a dormire.

Come ognuno di noi, avrà percezione del confine del tempo nel proprio luogo e la data sarà scolpita. 23 settembre.

venerdì 26 agosto 2011

Vanguard 1996 - 2011


Dopo quindici anni passati a grattare il fondo del barile... beh... insomma... un po' di mal di schiena?
(e questa fotografia rimane una delle mie migliori)

Roma - Ferragosto 2011


Roma. Periferia mediocre. Quindici agosto.
Il primo sole. Le nove?
Cassonetto sulla sinistra, piante secche e puzza di piscio.
Ho rincorso di ferragosto la bellezza e la meraviglia del niente.

martedì 23 agosto 2011

"Il mio nome è Mariana, Mariana Padin. Sono argentina, di Buenos Aires.. da due anni vivo in Italia, Ho abitato a Milano e ora sono a Roma.
Faccio la stylist. Mi appassiona fare delle foto sui posti o alle persone come li vedo, li immagino, oppure mi piacerebbe che fossero. Ogni cosa cambia al mio sguardo. Mi piace giocare con i colori, tendo a fantasticare, immagino… Scattare una foto è quanto di più creativo possa immaginare al momento.
In ogni foto, anche se realizzata in contesti lontani, o differenti, vedo momenti della mia infanzia. Mi piace e in un certo senso cerco la luce che “c'era”, come la ricordo, e trovo e ritrovo in molti ambienti i miei anni, alcuni ricordi e posso trasmettergli in quel piccolo istante dove senti la sensazione di viaggiare nel tempo, come un dejavù e poter provare un'altra volta dei sentimenti che sono rimasti lì e far di quel momento uno scatto magico."

'Mi nombre es Mariana. Mariana Padin. Soy argentina, de Buenos Aires… desde hace dos años vivo en Italia. Viví en Milano y ahora en Roma.
Soy productora de moda. Me apasiona tomar fotos de lugares o personas como las veo, imagino o me gustarían que fuese. Cada cosa cambia a traves de mi mirada. Me gusta jugar con los colores, tiendo a fantasear, imagino… Tomar una foto es más creativo de lo que pueda imaginar en el momento.
En cada foto, aunque sean realizadas en contextos lejanos, o diferentes, veo momentos de mi infanzia. Me gusta y en un cierto sentido busco la luz que "había", como la recuerdo, y encuentro y vuelvo a encontrar en muchos ambientes mis años, algunos recuerdos, que puedo transmitirlos en ese pequeño momento donde siento la sensación de viajar en el tiempo, cual dejavú, y poder probar una vez más sentimientos que quedaron ahí y hacer de ese momento un clic mágico'.


Click on the image to see the gallery

Nemmeno mi ero accorto della "ricognizione fotografica" di Mariana. Silenziosa com'è, pensavo stesse "giocando" per fatti suoi.
Posa il suo sguardo sulle cose in modo lieve, semplice, Mariana.
Di istinto, ma senza giudizio né esagerazione ogni cosa appare ordinata, e il caos del luogo dove vivo e lavoro mi sembra improvvisamente accettabile, quasi bello.
E' proprio vero, vedere con gli occhi di un altro che si conosce poco può solo regalare un pizzico di conoscenza...

Ni siquiera me había dado cuento del "reconocimiento fotográfico" de Mariana. Silenciosa como es, pensaba que estaba "jugando" por su lado.
Apoya su mirada sobre las cosas en un modo suave, simple, Mariana.
De instinto, pero sin juzgar ni exagerar cada cosa parece ordenada, y el caos del lugar donde vivo y trabajo me parece repentinamente aceptable, casi lindo.
Es muy cierto, ver con los ojos de otro que se conoce poco puede regalar un poco de conocimiento…

Tra esterica ed etica, circa l'opera e il pensiero di Benedetto Simonelli



da sinistra: Benedetto Simonelli, Bruno Roberti, Francesco Franci, Enzo G. Bargiacchi

Tra estetica ed etica circa l'opera ed il pensiero di Benedetto Simonelli

Scuderie Estensi - Tivoli - 5 giugno 2011 ore 18:00

partecipanti
Serafino Amato, Bruno Roberti, Benedetto SImonelli, Francesco Franci, Enzo G. Bargiacchi.

Proiezione del corto "Questa è una storia vera - su una collina a nord-est di Roma. 1989"
di Serafino Amato
16 mm riversato in digitale - 5 min. ca. (muto)



note su: Questa è una storia vera - documento video


Poche note relative a “Segnavia” mostra da me realizzata nel 1989 a Roma. “Dark Camera”

L’immagine vibrante del cartello che appare in testa al filmato: “Su una collina a nord est di Roma”, che sono poi le colline attraversate per anni da Benedetto. Quel titolo del breve video originato da una pellicola 16 mm realizzato nel 1989, in gennaio, (mai, me lo sarei ricordato), rimanda ad un tempo distante. Un tempo fisico, una data che ricorda un’era quasi spaziale. Quella della scoperta dei confini. Si sono spostati i confini, al momento solcano mari e scavallano palizzate.

Ripercorrere un sentiero dopo ventidue anni obbliga a molte e opposte riflessioni, sul piano fisico e sul piano emotivo. A trent’anni si è forti nell’affermare, dopo i cinquanta forte è dubbio ma ancora salda la presa sulle cose, basterà attendere pochi anni che le poche residue certezze saranno speranze.

Lo zaino che attraversa il bosco sulle spalle di Benedetto conteneva forse un’ascia, della carta, una borraccia con dell’acqua, un libro, fasce di stoffa, poco cibo, di sicuro delle olive. La cosa mi sembra molto importante in questo momento. Nello zaino c’erano poche povere cose, l’essenziale per il viaggio, per un qualsiasi tipo di viaggio.

Benedetto lo dice con poche brevi frasi. L’essenza del percorso è il volo. “Esco di casa senza avere deciso nulla di definitivo, ma quando l’intuizione dell’istante rivela dal vuoto i miei passi, allora il viaggio si snoda magicamente verso il sentiero, sospeso ad un arco di tempo che è volo”.

Quel volo per me è come sogno. Il sogno del volo. Sognare di volare era il sogno ricorrente, il più atteso. Ho sognato di volare infinite volte, ma negli anni sempre con maggiore fatica. Come se una zavorra impedisse al sognatore di librarsi. Nel sogno stesso ricordo quanto ero capace di librarmi, fino ad arrivare al firmamento, una volta fino a dove la luce si era rarefatta e potevo galleggiare in uno spazio dal colore azzurro cupo.

Potrei raccontare dopo ventidue anni le motivazioni di quel viaggio, di quel lavoro? No. Semplicemente perché non mi ricordo più quasi nulla del motivo. Ci si dimentica dei motivi delle cose. Ci si ricorda al più gli odori o le energie disperse. Rimane però il tempo per guardare quello che si è fatto come uno spettatore sorpreso di quanta strada fatta.


lunedì 22 agosto 2011




Mi dà disagio questa fotografia.
Non ci sono trucchi e non è stata "lavorata".
Tenax: macchina fotografica tedesca del 1939
Mi piace, è una mia foto tipica... ma i colori sono colori di guerra.
Seconda Guerra Mondiale. 1939-1945

domenica 21 agosto 2011



Difficile scartare di lato.

venerdì 12 agosto 2011

Biografie in forma di una canzone/Serafino Amato e William Pettit



William Pettit, Una biografia a forma di canzone
di Serafino Amato


Può un uomo giovane ma non troppo giovane essere un “anarchico”?

Ci sono 2000 metri quadrati in un pezzo di Sabina dove un uomo ha costruito la sua casa.

Può un uomo giovane ma non troppo giovane, forse “anarchico”, ma perché poi mai dovrebbe

esserlo, che ha costruito la sua casa in un pezzo di Sabina collinosa, e che a cinquanta metri

dalla sua casa ha messo su un capanno pieno di spifferi che può offrire una precaria ospitalità,

e che se non fosse per la presenza di un computer verrebbe da dire: "questa è la casa di un

boscaiolo"... rilassarsi al ronzio delle mosche d’estate?

Può un uomo di quasi mezza età con figli biondi, biondi come lui, che sembrano irlandesi,

spendere il suo tempo in una casa in mezzo alla campagna, assieme a sua moglie, che alta e

bruna, per ogni spostamento, di gran corsa, imbocca la strada in salita e poi in discesa alzando

un polverone, tutte le volte tranne quando piove?

Può un uomo che ha costruito la sua capanna a cinquanta metri dalla casa e sulla porta ci ha

fatto un disegno e sulla parete pure e all'interno ha scatole ovunque piene di ferraglia di tutti i

tipi come fosse un ferraiolo... raccontare un pezzo del suo mondo lontano?

E' “anarchico”? Ma che ne so, è poco importante.

Ama la natura? Forse.

Scappa da qualcosa? Può essere.

E' americano? Sicuro! E' americano.

Ma se anche Aleksandr Solgenitsin che non era americano aveva costruito la sua casa in un

bosco del Vermont e l'aveva circondata di alti muri?

Bill non ha costruito muri attorno alla sua casa, e la capanna è senza serratura.

Che ci fa nella capanna questo uomo americano, biondo con due figli e una moglie, in

compagnia di due cani?...E quello bianco sbrana pure le pecore del vicino, …che se non gli dà

una controllata glielo fanno pure fuori…

Quest'uomo è un pittore, di quel tipo di pittori che mette una linea dietro l'altra, di colori

diversi fino a fare un microsolco, come quelli di un vecchio vinile, che si incanta, che incanta.

Eppure è giovane, ma forse l'ossessione è dell'arte più che dell'età.

Disegna bistecche, ossobuchi.

Può quest'uomo, il cane del quale spolpa le pecore del vicino rischiando anche la coda, questo

biondo americano che anche lui porta una coda di cavallo e ogni venerdì va in una trattoria a

mangiare una bistecca di tre dita come farebbe nel Wyoming e che una volta digerita finirà

pure per dipingere, pensare di passare per sempre inosservato?
(Serafino Amato)

William Pettit, A Biography in the Form of a Song
by Serafino Amato

Can a young man, but not so young, be an anarchist?

There are 2000 square meters in a part of the Sabina where a man has built his home.
Can a man--- young but not so young, anarchist perhaps, but why should he be, who built his house on a piece of the hilly Sabina, and who at fifty meters from his house has a leaky shack (full of drafts) that can offer precarious hospitality, and if not for the presence of a computer one would say “This is the shack of a woodsman”— relax to the buzz of summer insects?
Can a man almost middle-aged, with blonde children, blonde like him who seems Irish, pass all his time in a house in the middle of the country, with a wife who is tall and dark, who for every movement, with great speed, take the road uphill and then downhill causing a cloud of dust except when it rains?
Can a man-- who built his shack fifty meters from his house and on the door has made a drawing, and on the walls, and inside has boxes of metal scraps of every kind as if he were a blacksmith—tell the story of a far way world?
Is he an anarchist? What do I know, it is of little importance.
Does he love nature? Maybe.
Is he escaping something? Perhaps.
Is he American? Yes, he is!
But if even Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who was not American, built his home in the woods of Vermont and built high walls around it?
Bill didn’t build any walls around his house, his shack has not locks.
What does this man do in the shack---American, with two children, a wife, the company of two dogs, the white one who attacks the neighbors sheep…and if he isn’t careful will kill them?
This man is a painter, the kind of painter that puts one line after another, of different colors, until he makes an incision, like those on vinyl records.
Yet he is young. Perhaps it is an obsession with art more than with age.
He paints steaks, ossobuco.
Can this man---whose dog eats the neighbors sheep, risking its life, this American who also has a ponytail and who every Friday goes to the same restaurant to eat a big steak like they do in Wyoming, and who, after digesting, goes to paint,--- think he can pass unnoticed?
(Serafino Amato)

Serafino Amato, A Biography in the Form of a Song
by William Pettit


Can a man—a mature man, a measured man, an established and respected photographer, teacher, writer, filmmaker, father-- be an anarchist?

This man rides a bicycle, so he breaks his foot. He drives slowly, so he wrecks his car. He collects things just to give them away. He has two homes, so he becomes homeless. He cannot sleep, so he dreams when he’s awake.

Can a man of a certain age and culture actually listen?

This is a man who has undone age and unblinded culture, who listens with his eyes and his interiors. This man is a seer.

Serafino, by name and definition, is an angel; one who gives light and clarity, one who burns with giving.

This man is an artist. That is his giving.

Serafino is a generous friend, an obsessive photographer and a humble poet.

His work touches the fragility and persistence of life on a cosmic scale, a reciprocal continuum of energy, empathy, entropy. Or perhaps we are meant to look at the reeds and hear the flutes.

He creates place out of space, an infinite moment between infinite echoes.

The result lives among us, in its pure form, without regret or apology, as a gift.

(William Pettit)


Serafino Amato. Una biografia a forma di canzone
di William Pettit

Può un uomo – un uomo maturo, un uomo misurato, un affermato e rispettato fotografo, insegnante, scrittore, regista e padre - essere un anarchico?

Questo uomo va in bicicletta e finisce per rompersi una gamba. Guida con prudenza e distrugge la sua macchina. Colleziona cose solo per darle via. Ha due case e finisce per diventare un senzatetto. Non dorme e inizia a sognare mentre è sveglio.

Può un uomo di una certa età e cultura essere capace di ascolto?

Questo uomo ha disfatto gli anni e di ignota cultura, ascolta con i suoi occhi e le sue interiora. Questo uomo è un veggente.

Serafino di nome e definizione è un angelo; quello che da luce e chiarezza, uno che arde con charità. Quest’uomo è un artista. E’ questo il suo dare.

Serafino è un amico generoso, un fotografo ossessivo e un poeta umile.

Il suo lavoro tocca la fragilità e persistenza della vita in scala cosmica, un continuo di energia rociproca, empatia, entropia. O forse dovremmo solo guardare le canne e sentire i flauti.

Lui crea luogo dallo spazio, un momento infinito tra infiniti echi

Il risultato vive tra noi, nella sua forma pura, senza rimorso o apologia. Un dono.

(William Pettit)


venerdì 1 aprile 2011

Quattro pezzi facili - Four easy pieces


Serafino Amato e Marcello Sambati a Tuscania

testo di Yvonne Dohna


On hearing Bill Pettit's and Serafino Amato's description of this

project, I immediately wondered whether the public would be able not

only to experience the individual works, but also to get a glimpse

into the particular comradeship between the two artists. I was quickly

fascinated by this artistic brotherhood, initiated recently by chance,

between two such distinct personalities, nurtured by mutual sympathy

and the desire to communicate their poetry.

It's astonishing to list the range of media in which they express

themselves expertly: painting, drawing, photography, video, theater,

poetry, fiction, music. It's not only that they erase distinctions

between figuration and abstraction--by now a common enough attitude in

art--or that they happily blur the confines between art and life, and

the confines between "high" and "low" idioms. Really they are like

those lucky people for whom our usual distinctions between English and

French and Italian simply don't exist: there exists instead just one

big meta-language, and therefore problems of translation and

interpretation are likewise non-existent. They are not conceptual

artists who one day execute a work in neon and the next day one in

fiberglass, relying upon expert artisans to worry about the technical

details. No, they do their own eclectic work, in a spirit of

craftsmanship, self-reliance, resourcefulness, anti-heroism and

anti-virtuosity. Both are attentive to the details of their own lives,

which they cite with unembarassed feeling. This gives a nearly

domestic dimension to their works, and serves at the same time as a

kind of implicit criticism of the empty "professionalism" of the

current art world. Both artists have the strength of faith in their

own artistic sensibilities in whatever idiom they confront.

In Bill's description, Serafino emerges as a kind of sly and

undefinable chameleon, and a font of flowing creativity. Serafino

cultivates an impression of relaxation and elegant casualness. His art

reflects his seraphic smile; he is an artist of the light touch. Yet

Sturm und Drang are part of his artistic heritage: his works are often

composed and inspired by scenes from avant-garde theatre, as Serafino

says, a sort of „performance art, gli spettacoli erano "opere totali"

La voce era quasi "bandita" e il testo era una emanazione del corpo

dell'attore. Suoni più che parole, una sorta di "mantra" talvolta.

Improvvisazione ma anche esercizio di pratiche talvolta più vicine

allo yoga. Le esperienze di Julian Beck e del Living Teathre e nel

campo della performance sonora John Cage, avevano fortemente

influenzato le persone da cui "ero a bottega" per imparare“.

In a typically delicate work of Serafino's (”..infatti è proprio

questo andare dove gli altri non vanno….”), we see a little bird on

the sand trying to escape from the frame of the photo; the bird is a

little out of focus, as if simultaneously still there and yet already

flown off. Life is there, before us in that moment and in the moment

after.

Serafino tells stories. He distinguishes between exterior and interior

events, and speaks about the “discrete” versus the “indiscrete” look,

that is, examining the world more deeply, without however abandoning

reality. (An example: the man with closed eyes). The paradox of

photography is that while it manifestly records exclusively what is

physically real, in the hands of a master photography ends up

representing the metaphysical, the world of dreams, memories, desires.

The artist comments: „Fotografo quello che c'è e ne riconosco la

debolezza e la fragilità davanti alla forza della mutazione delle

cose“.

In Serafino`s words „ Davanti alla natura sei sempre di fronte al più

grande "Testo" che sia mai stato possibile leggere...o forse vedere. „

InTerzo racconto a vegetali (April 2002) we hear the wind in the

grass: „La natura è per me il viaggio infinito. La ripetizione

infinita, che infinita non è, e nemmeno ripetizione poi, semmai

combinazione di variabili infinite sullo stesso tema. Sono interessato

alle variabili di uno stesso tema e al gioco della casualità come

elemento di permanenza realtiva nel luogo. “ Looking at the grass, we

hear the lullaby “Guten Abend, gute Nacht” played by a child, unsure,

insecure and disturbed by little mistakes. We feel a connection

between nature and cruel human reality. “Un ondata in inverno li

trascinerà via” we read at the end of the film, when the flute is

substituted by drums and the grass is filmed in painful close-up. We

are made to experience a mixture of comfortable and uncomfortable

emotions and are forced to acknowledge the infinitely contradictory

aspects of the reality we inhabit.

Painter, photographer, video artist, poet, musician, Bill Pettit

explores tensions and connections between the earthy and the sublime,

pain and joy, the self and the other, city and country. In The

Marriage of Heaven and Hell we feel that the long abstract lines are

in the midst of a battle. The forms smash into each other and

interpenetrate, in the end creating a fluid continuum. The elements

seem to belong to a perfectly organized and articulated world which is

at the same time deeply unstable. It is a battle of energy which

becomes physically visible.

With the "steak" paintings we pass from the non-objective to an

explicit realism, which, however, suggests elements of allegory and

symbolism. The paintings are crude and direct. Bill says: “It needs to

be a surprise, a shock“ to become real. Flesh is a part of our life

and contains a deep truth of our lives. Bill writes “Consumption as a

spiritual act. Physical consumption—eating and kissing—are as close

to the sublime essence of art and poetry as anything else. And they

are also as close to the biological reduction of existence: to survive

and reproduce, as anything else." For Bill, the meat closes the cycle.

It sacrifice gives not just fuel but ecstasy.

Meat requires no philosophical explication; it simply says "eat me,

taste me, I will give you sustenance!" One could similarly say that

the art of this exhibition only asks to be looked and experienced, in

sympathy. "I make paintings and poems like I would write a love

letter“ writes Bill. “I am here wishing, regretting, wanting to…...

but resisting, for a you.“ Both artists reach out to us in a generous

embrace. Their poetic freedom induces in us a parallel sense of

liberation, of flying far away from everyday limits.



Serafino Amato – William Pettit

Quattro pezzi facili – Four easy pieces

Tuscania, 16 aprile 2011 – dalle ore 16 alle ore 20

Dark Camera – I magazzini della Lupa - Via della lupa 10 - tel. 0741 443239

www. i magazzini della lupa.it

Serafino e Bill si conoscono da poco tempo. Un incontro casuale, come ne avvengono per strada e come ne avvengono, inevitabilmente, per le strade dell’arte. Non credono, in fondo, di avere molto in comune. Sono diversissimi per aspetto, età, cultura. Uno italiano e l’altro americano. Uno ha più di cinquant’anni l’altro nemmeno quaranta. Uno alto e magro, l’altro meno. Eppure qualcosa li unisce. In questo tratto di strada direbbe Serafino, che da sempre è affascinato dal “percorso” chi cammina veloce raggiunge chi sta già sullo stesso sentiero, ma chi per primo aveva intrapreso il viaggio?

Una mostra realizzata più di venti anni fa, esposta proprio a Dark Camera - Roma, da Marcello Sambati, aveva per titolo proprio “Segnavia”. Un uomo viene ripreso mentre cammina nel bosco, ha uno zaino sulle spalle. Un evidente reminescenza Heideggeriana.

Bill e’ nostalgico. Un ex patriota. Il suo percorso è fisico. Come uno straniero attraversa il tempo, il ricordo, riciclando il passato e l'immaginario insieme a tracce, a foto, a cartacce attaccate al muro. Il suo linguaggio è ciclico, anche. Scrive la stessa poesia, canta la stessa canzone, dipinge lo stesso quadro da sempre e non c’e’ differenza fra queste cose. …Tonalità e poemi, una lunga marcia versa casa, prima spinge e poi arretra muovendosi attraverso la leggerezza del tempo.

La mostra è accompagnata da un testo di Yvonne Dohna, Storico e critico d’arte.


Serafino and Bill have known each other for a short period of time. It was a casual meeting, like those that happen on the street, and like those that happen, inevitably, on the streets of Art. They don’t really have much in common. They are different in appearance, age, and culture. One is Italian and one is American. One is more than fifty, the other not yet 40. One is tall and thin, the other perhaps less so. But something brings them together.

“On this stretch of road,” writes Serafino, who has always been interested in the road and the path, “he who walks quickly reaches he who is already on the same path… but who first undertook the journey?” An exhibition of twenty years ago, shown at Marcello Sambati’s Dark Camera in Rome, was in fact titled “Segnavia” (Wegmarke). A man is filmed as he walks in the woods, he wears a backpack. An obvious reference to Heidegger.

Bill is on a similar path, perhaps more nostalgic. His journey is physical, as an ex-patriot, and temporal, through recollection and recycling the past, even if imaginary, parallel to the traces in snapshots and scraps pinned to the wall. His language too is cyclical: he writes the same poems, sings the same songs, paints the same pictures again and again, and there is no distinction between them. “Tones and poems, the long walk home, pushing, receding, moving through the lightness of time”.

The exhibition is accompanied with a text by Yvonne Dohna, art historian and critic.


Video di Serafino Amato

1980 - “DNA code”, già “Paesi Socialisti”, Super 8, 3:20 min

1989 - “Questa è una storia vera”. Su una collina a nord est di Roma. Con Benedetto Simonelli,

2003 - “Ascesi”, con Edoardo Albinati, 12 min16mm, 2:30 min;

2008 - "Ecatombe - I girini della storia" con Lorenzo Pavolini - 14 min

2010 - “Bill Looking” con William Pettit . 3 min (musica di William Pettit)


Videos By William Pettit

Moving, by William Pettit, Video, 4 min., 2010. Music: “Moving,” by Self Fantasy, 2010.

Moving and resting, being here or there, past, present, future, just walk towards it.

Dreaming, by William Pettit, Video, 3 min., 2011. Music: “Fireworks” by Self Fantasy, 2011.

Flashes of loss, a kiss makes fireworks, bright and fleeting, dreams are what was and what will be.

Waiting, by William Pettit, Video, 3 min., 2011. Music: “Seeds” by Self Fantasy, 2010.

Time exists between two heartbeats, the rain, the slow, the stranded, the waiting.

Missing, by William Pettit, video, 2:30 min., 2011. Music: “Albany” by Self Fantasy, 2011.

An imaginary journey excavated from past and future memory, within the confines of a solitary space.


giovedì 10 marzo 2011

Men at work.

Uomini al lavoro di fronte al fotografo, ma fra il fotografo e gli uomini che lavorano un fotografo fotografa un fotografo che fotografa.

lunedì 7 marzo 2011

Spoleto, deposito di legna

E' come dicevo...: Alla fine si finisce per fare sempre la stessa fotografia. Ovunque vai.
Come fra gli scaffali del supermercato... scegli sempre gli stessi biscotti.
Vecchie tecniche come vecchie abitudini?
E' che il posto non è mai lo stesso quando ogni cosa è spostata, trasportata, modificata.
Tronchetti di legna tagliata. Quaranta centimetri di lunghezza per ogni pezzo.
Il gioco è sempre lo stesso, come quello sulla sabbia della spiaggia.
Infinite combinazioni andate perdute per una sola che permane.

C'è un odore che mi ritorna su per le narici quando penso al mare grosso d'inverno giù in Sicilia.
Non che sia importante, ma mi viene da pensare che il mare non sia più lo stesso se quell'odore non mi è più capitato di sentirlo.
Basterà tornare in Sicilia, in inverno, in una giornata senza sole, anche un po' cupa, per sentire di nuovo l'odore del sale di un mare senza sole?

domenica 6 febbraio 2011

le nuove forme

Se aggiungessi che le forme dell'urbano sono forme dell'orrore farei un torto anche a me stesso perchè questa fotografia, in fin dei conti, è una bella fotografia.
Ma se dicessi: "Proseguirò questo lavoro", (che poi nessuno mi ha richiesto) e continuassi a fotografare l'offensiva "nuvola" di Fuksas in costruzione farei ancora un altro errore.. Perchè trovare uno spazio di buonsenso in questa "geometria urbana" riesce assai difficile.
Mi dispiace, di sicuro potevano venir fuori ancora molte belle foto.

venerdì 4 febbraio 2011

La cosa più banale. E i muri.

La cosa più banale sarebbe dire che i muri non solo ascoltano ma hanno anche una montagna di cose da raccontare. La cosa più banale.

giovedì 23 dicembre 2010

sabato 27 novembre 2010

sabato 28 agosto 2010

Clara Peters - interview - part 2

I would say that autobiography sometimes is the starting point, but during the construction of the work, everything becomes diluted and transformed into something that is no longer recognizable. Sometimes the starting point disappears even to me over the years of composition, so that something that was once a representation of a particular experience in my life becomes a shared experience. At the end of the process, one forgets the reason of the original inspiration. It’s like when you travel, at the end of the trip, the first train you took holds a new significance and you see yourself as a traveler in a new light, sometimes you look back at yourself with a certain sympathy, all of your original concerns, uncertainties… at all the useless things you carried. My most private and autobiographical work, I would say, is Pallido Pallido… where I started searching, where thoughts casually arrive… everyone would really like, when thinking of someone, for their thoughts to arrive precisely at the desired destination, however, as everyone experiences, even if I believe in the existence of the “materia” of thoughts, rarely do the thoughts arrive at our desired destinations, rather they decide their own path.

So your work is not only autobiographical, but also functions as a biography of others?

That’s true. When you compose a work, when you create a story, when you imagine the construction of something that is a story, normally you search within your own personal experience: the stories of your family, friends, and often stories that you’ve heard in every day life, and all of the chances that life offers. Life gives us infinite opportunities to be amazed. Up until a few years ago, I usually wrote short stories as a sort of caption for my photographs, I think we’ve already discussed this no? but in the past few years I’ve been focusing more on writing romance novels, and it is a new experience, in which I use a visually descriptive language.

So you’re not talking about photographs, but you’re talking about the description of detail within the images, this sounds similar to the way Moravia wrote with extreme visual detail that is perfect for the use of screenplays

When I tell stories, they can be, descriptions of real things or, at times, they are invented within my imagination, but in both cases, I write the stories using the same approach. I need to see precisely what I am writing about. This is not really a screenplay, I need to see the place, the light, the single jests of the characters within the story. I know what you are thinking, you are probably thinking that these stories could be similar to a film, but the meaning of time is, in this case, more like a photograph, as opposed to a film as with Moravia. I would say that any image within my stories is more like a still picture rather than an action. The visual impression is a description of single details that can compose the story only if you put all of these single precise captured moments, always with strong detail and never a simple outline. This is why I don’t like to use too many adjectives and I never want the subject in my stories to be left unclear.

Would you mind giving an example of this imagery?

In the late 90’s, I wrote a story “A Napoli gli amori sono precoci,” of a young Napolitan “scugnizzo” (thief) who falls in love with the movements and gestures of his friend’s hands and arms while driving on the vespa on one wheel in through the small streets of Naples during while they drove around steeling women’s purses. He falls in love, not with a part of the body, but with its movements and gestures. The gestures are very important in this short story, and the description is very precise. Just like a photograph, or a hologram, where the reader can actually see the repetition of the movement and action. For the rest of his life, he continues to internalize the gestures of those who capture him for better or for worse.

Why do you think have you become more interested or attracted to writing than photography in recent years?

Writing permits me to move forwards and backward in time and space. Unfortunately photography is too locked in the present.

giovedì 26 agosto 2010

Nuvola...!??? Mr. Fuksas


Non che l'orizzonte fosse interessante, ma...

mercoledì 12 maggio 2010

Clara Peters - interview - part 1&2

I have always held a strong passion for images and their meanings. They are such powerful things that can portray very strong meanings, yet they are also created and manipulated with intention to offer a specific perspective. I find that the truth and beauty within every image is found within the intent of the creator. This to me is what makes Serafino’s photographs and words so special. I met Serafino while doing the translation for his documentary film on the Italian author, Raffaele La Capria. (“Raffaele La Capria – scrittore d’acqua” 2005- published by Fandango ed. 2009) I became immediately interested in his work, not only through the images, but also through the words. I found a special truth of my own life and emotions within his photographs and writings. To me his works cannot be taken in completely as visual concepts but rather as stories, lessons, or poetry. Each piece offers some very honest truth about life, which encourages one to see every day objects in a new light and fresh beauty. As a graduate of John Cabot University in both Communications and Italian Studies, Serafino has offered a lot to my education and individual development.

Clara Peters

Part 1

Serafino, what is the significance of your works? What are the primary issues addressed in your work?

I have been involved with art since I was young. At that time I didn’t know what my real interests were. During secondary school, when I was fifteen years old I started taking pictures. I bought my first camera when I was sixteen. I’ve never taken pictures without a project. I’ve always followed a constructed idea. I’ve rarely taken pictures by chance, I’ve always searched for a connection between things, and before taking pictures I normally know what I want. In contrast to traditional Italian photography, I tend to focus on photo-writing rather than photo-painting. I would say that I was more interested in writing then in taking pictures. The result of this approach was that I produced several projects in which the images are not the primary topic. Sometimes my photography is a means of writing, even if I wasn’t aware at the time what I was doing. The content of my photography, as many other photographers, has always been that of nature contemplation, human behaviour, and environmental change.

Where are you from? Has your upbringing had an influence on your work? Was anyone else in your family involved with art?

I was born in Rome, but my parents are from Naples. They came to Rome in the beginning of the fifties. I was born in 1958. My parents were not involved with art. My father was a professor at the University of Rome, my mother a housewife. I would say that I was an ordinary boy until 10 or 11 years old. At that time I got fat. I think that my fat physical condition was one of the first important things that happened to me. I began thinking of myself as different from the other boys. I didn’t like to play the same games as they did…I didn’t enjoy the aggressive games that they did, I didn’t play with dolls, but I didn’t like killing small animals either. When my father fell ill with Parkinson’s disease he was only forty-five. I was thirteen years old at the time, I didn’t know he was sick, he didn’t tell us about it, but I felt that something strange was happening at home. I think that his illness, over the course of about 30 years, influenced my way of seeing things...

I asked you about your upbringing and how it has influenced your work... and you are telling me that the most important aspects of your youth are your "fat physical condition" and the illness of your father?

In fact, it sounds strange but if I think about it, it is not far from the truth. Because my attitude towards things is constructed by the idea of the body. I would say that I am always inspired by the physical approach to things... I need to be in touch with things before I create works. In this sense, I think that the physical influence of the body conditioned me more than the concepts of say culture, society, or other outside influences.

Have you only worked in photography? Or have you experimented with other art forms?

I worked in theatre when I was about 20, but I didn’t like the sense of loss that one feels and sees in some actors or some directors at the end of a project. I also used to paint, but I don’t think I would have been a good painter…as I’ve already told you I can’t stand being in a studio. Photography permits you to be outside…to be in open air.

What is it about photography, as opposed to other art forms, that inspired you and appealed to your interests?

For a long time I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I felt something strange in my behaviour and interests. I was interested in something that was half mind and half body and all of my artworks and projects were influenced by this feeling. I felt like a man divided in two pieces, and photography was a means of reducing this inner dualism. At that time I was unsure of my interests. I remember a work that I did with translucent paper, the same paper used by architects, which I covered in transparent glue. For months I cut 10x12 cm pieces of the paper, until I had cut a great number of pieces. I didn’t understand what I was doing… but one rainy night I was awakened by a noise, not of the rain, but of the paper that with the humidity was changing form. I was really surprised by the capabilities of this paper to catch the humidity and change form, as I then noticed that it also does with the touch of human hands. It seemed as though the paper itself had a sort of psychological sensitivity... After a few months I decided to count the pieces that were on the floor and I counted 8,000 pieces. This was an important discovery because it made me realize how many pieces 8,000 really are. For the first time in my life I realized that we as individuals in society, have lost the sense of singularity and the sense of what quantity really means.

We normally speak too liberally about quantity of deaths in history without truly understanding how much that quantity really is: have you ever counted 200,000 deaths in Dresden? Or 6 million Jews? Or only 3,000 deaths from the Twin Towers? I suggest that you try.

When did you realize that you were an artist? What do you think it takes for one to be able to define himself as an artist?

For a long time I used to say that couldn’t consider myself artist. The word “artist” in Italian is so full of significance and it is difficult at twenty years old to say to yourself, “I’m an artist”. It took me many years to be able to call myself an artist. To be an artist is a way of defining ones work and personal attitude, being an artist is a way of life and a way of seeing things. At the beginning, in my work, I felt it was necessary to remove rather than to add. When I used to paint, I would draw particular shapes, for example a shirt, inside which I could then paint shapes. I normally used to use the same translucent paper that I talked about previously, with glue but a larger size. I used to paint with watercolours on both sides. The transparent paper maintained the transparency and the work could be seen either side.

What are your personal interests? Do your interests influence your work?

My first interest is living. I’m really interested in life and everything that offers me a sense of “humanness.” I would say that the work I do is almost always influenced by my daily life. I love being in nature, and I need to be outside. I don’t like to be closed in and work in a studio. Every day I follow the changing light and if I must be at home, I feel like a prisoner. The light and air are necessary for me to produce good things. I try to see everything possible with my eyes, hearing as much as possible with my ears and I try to translate the information about life with my work.

What do you enjoy most about your work as a photographer? How is it rewarding to you?

Rewards? What do you mean? There are no rewards.

When you decide to do an artistic work you never think about rewards.

You do your work because you can’t do anything else. You spend a lot of money and a lot of time doing something not really useful. I think you feel an inner need to express something that at the beginning you don’t really understand.

In the beginning you probably would like to become a recognized artist and in a few years the dream is lost…but not your need…

I don’t think you understood what I intended by rewards, I meant to ask how is it fulfilling. Not as in a physical reward, but rather how does your work reward and enrich your own life.

Yes that’s true… my knowledge of the English language is not perfect… but I think that misunderstanding is an important part of my work, so I ask you not to remove my wrong answer. Most of my work is focussed on a sense of incorrect understanding or evaluation, I would say a sense of arbitrariness… I mean, I think that the result of any artwork, picture or writing is the extraction of an imprecise perception of things, which produces a sort of short circuit of the meaning.

Would you elaborate a bit further?

When I began my work, “I fogli dei giorni” in 2003, which is still in progress… I was interested in photographing absolutely common subjects. People working in the streets, common traffic areas, and small, useless things that can be found in everyday life. In this work, the images become a sort of archive for future emotional inspiration...I want to say, that every image responds to both my individual interest for the subject, as well as “a container for meaning.” I don’t know how clear it is, I mean that an image can activate the construction of a new future meaning.

Could you give an example?

Do you see this photo? I took it, on a normal morning, in a place where I passed by chance. It isn’t a particularly nice photo. The result has a very real effect, “two street cleaners, are preparing for the job, to remove graffiti with water jets at high pressure.” If I had printed the image in that moment, it wouldn’t have had any particular significance. Instead, I put it aside for a little while, and when I saw it again, just looking at it, it had a new meaning, it made a new statement for me. An absolutely arbitrary perception from a completely real context. When something or someone captures our attention, even a phrase heard in passing on the street, we archive “new significance.” Almost always this perception disappears and dissolves itself like a cloud of vapour, other times, when we least expect it, we construct something new. This is what I do when I capture these “useless” images.

It seems to me that autobiography is a strong component of your work.

I surrender! Autobiography is a very strong component of my work. I was expecting you to comment on this observation. I feel that autobiography in one’s work can sometimes be considered a negative thing. In this case, could you ask this question in the form of an accusation: “How can you justify this excessive use of autobiography!?”

Serafino! How dare you use autobiography in your work!

I would say that if you walk freely carrying yourself upon your legs, and you feel completely connected with your heart and mind… feeling fully aware of all of your senses at once, it is inevitable that the tales that you tell and the work that you do, will represent this… As you may know, in Italian we say: “essere in sé”…

Yes, in Enlish we would say “to be present”

“Essere in sé”, or to be present, is to have a strong perception of oneself, of the world and things. Inevitably everything that you say passes through you. For this reason I like to be clear minded, lucid, in the creation of my work, even if sometimes this can seem bizarre.

Can you give us an example of a bizarre work that you’ve done that you feel is a sincere representation of your state of being at a certain point in time?

I could give you an endless list! But the first example that comes to mind is the video series “racconti a vegetali” (2002). In this work, I talked to plants and the plants responded! I know it sounds strange, but we I will come back to this later. You should look at the first and second videos. In the first one I tell a tale to a wild plant by the side of the bicycle path, a place where I go frequently. In this tale, I talk about a story inspired the day of September 11th. In the second one, the dialogue is with a strange seemingly prehistoric plant, coming from another era. The video is a dialogue between an entity that “lives” in another dimension far away… but also close, and looks at you and talks with you in a paternal and affectionate way. As if to say, “you, who know so few things in life, come to visit me in my garden. I will listen to you, sweet creature…” Have you ever lost someone really close to you?