The ways in which power constructs and disseminates the representation of itself and its presence have to do with the fine line between what is visible and what is invisible. Fascinated by the complexity of this theme in relation to historical contexts and photographic image, Paolo Ciregia, Massimiliano Gatti and Zoe Paterniani present very different types of imagery, starting from different points of view, and yet both benefitting from the possibilities of analysis offered by the surgical look of the camera lens.
40 Dittatori is the result of a series of scans on half busts and statues depicting some of the main dictators of the twentieth century. Through the overturning of perspective, the viewer can only see the base of the statue which, with its cavities and grooves, reveals itself from an unexpected point of view. This image in fact, in reality, can only be obtained at the moment of the demolition of the statue. One of the immediate effects of this expedient is the depotentialization of the iconographic object given by the instant loss of function for which the monument itself was designed at first.
I matched photos of Palmyra, the Syrian archaeological site that was damaged by ISIS, with propaganda video frames documenting its destruction. On the one hand, there are images with a classic archaeological taste, on the other, images that deliberately look like clouds, but are actually columns of smoke rising after the explosion. Le Nuvole is the title of a play by Aristophanes in which the Clouds are ethereal and impalpable divinities associated with the lightness of thought of the new philosophical currents. Underneath this is an observation about the perception of these contents in the digital age. These are my Nuvole, a dangerous, violent and nihilistic form of thought, easy and free to access, denying history and memory, the past and the roots of our entire culture.
JORDAN GENERAL ELECTIONS 16
As I landed in Ammam on September 1st, 2016, the parliamentary elections were about to take place. On the way from the airport, I saw hundreds of electoral campaign posters. Amman is a collection of cities, there are no avenues nor ordered squares separating each part of town. Areas that are completely different in terms of culture and architecture cross over each other, mixing and blurring any idea of limit or actual border. As I was trying to orientate myself, those oversize candidates’ faces colonizing the city became like a fil rouge, the only element connecting areas that were geographically and culturally far apart, and yet they were seemingly ignored by most Jordan citizens. The institutional and historical image of ghastly rooms of the old parliament house is compared with the images of the electoral campaign, destined to be chosen and rearranged according to opinions and needs, and consumed slowly until they disappear, as a result of a process of reappropriation.