Landscape in space

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Landscape in space, collective exhibition curated by Erminio Annunzi

On the occasion of the Europhotofestival, on Sunday, March 17, 2019 Istituto Italiano di Fotografia inaugurated the collective exhibition “Landscape in space”, showcases the photos of the second-year students of the Professional Biennial Photography Course. The exhibition was curated by Erminio Annunzi and was hosted at the prestigiour headquarters of Palazzo Marliani-Cicogna in Busto Arsizio (VA) until 28 April 2019.

Representing space is a strenuous task for photography. From a physical point of view, you have to reduce a three-dimensional concept – height, width and length – to the compressed and limited space of a photograph. Moreover, you have to take in consideration the relationship that space establishes with time at every shoot. From this perspective we have to face the dichotomy of photographic space, that in relation to time can be both “acted” or “acting”. If you think of photography as of a pure – and more or less conscious – witness, you can analyse the pure happening of reality, hence something that is external to photography. Thus, the linguistic action of an image comes to an end. This concept was examined by Viviana Gravano in an article published in “Le idee della fotografia” by Claudio Marra. She wrote “the internal dynamics of an image doesn’t depend on the action captured by it, it’s the linguistic action intrinsic to the image that complies with its internal dynamics: when you photograph an event you are not reproducing the time and space of that event, you are creating the time and space of reproduction of the event”. To solve these “small” problems”, there are many visual and composition-related artifices: colours, tonal variations, geometries, shapes, perspective and much more. Though, the conceptual representation of space is of a different nature because you don’t have to face the problem through spatial representation alone, you also need space to be the unshaped container where the comedy/tragedy of human destiny reveals itself in a game where the place and human actions intersect each other and creat a visual unicum. Man is not the only participant allowed to play in space, nature does the same. Nature bends the rules of the game according to its creative and evolutionary principles, that nowadays are very far from human progress, focused only on economic value and enjoyment. We can say that these two players play at the same table but with rules that are different and basically in contraposition to each other. These are the premises of the work done by the students of Istituto Italiano di Fotografia: a study that focused not only on photographic spatial reproduction but also on the idea of conceptual space in relation to its “shapes” and “time” that are part of the ideas of photographic representation. This collective project emphasizes the linguistic and expressive power held by photography, that is not related to the reproduction of time and space as they are, but to ideas and theirs substance.

Erminio Annunzi


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