Analog memories of an underground surface

(Aka, what brought me to be what I am today)

In 2009, I spent more time in factories than in class, and I took pictures with old analog cameras, using b&w rolls – which actually is a thing that I currently do, even though I use digital cameras now. During that period, I was interested in exposing my abstract visions, flickers of light discovered somewhere in a dark, narrow underground club, or in surface-illuminated huge areas.

I was enraptured by the photosensitive tools such as rolls and printing papers; it was obviously more romantic thinking that a picture could remain intact for hundreds of years thanks to the emulsions of silver halide, than knowing that a digital file was just a set of binary numbers, put God knows where, onto an anonymous hard disk. Furthermore, analog photography forces you to wait the development to see your snapshot result; I can compare the surprise I felt to that of a child unwrapping their Christmas presents. Being forced to sharp hit shoot helped to train your eye, avoiding the creation of too many uselessly redundant pictures, as it happens to many people slipped into the flood of digital reflex of the last decade.

Our teacher used to say that cameras are the tools between our eye and the images: first you have to look, and then possibly take a picture. How many times have you seen first a lens and then the turist’s glance on a panoramic viewpoint? But I’ll get depth this huge matter another time. Going back to my explorations: what was so interesting in those factories? Usually if you wanted to get in, you had to crawl in an ashy tunnel, or climb up until you reached a broken window, and after that, you could explore far and wide the surrounding area. Spaces forgotten by everyone, rarely popular with junkies, bums and illegal immigrants. Spaces filled by silence and by smells of oil, grease, rust and exhausted chemical products. Pitch black. Also wonderful light.

The few sounds were made by the echo of my steps in the dust, which moving through a beam of light became bright as snow under a beacon near a window, outside, in the cold of January. The echo of my steps on the iridescent puddles and cigarette stubs. Liquid and chemical rainbows, floating as at a gas station’s in a noir movie. The echo of stepped-on glasses, of broken bottles – the only memory of ancestral booze-ups. My readings about contemporary art, especially the informal one, my first attempts of printing in the darkroom and psychology influenced me a lot. Decay and abandon made scabs on the walls, transforming into paintings and symbols picked here and there in our subconscious, and as I fixed them with a snapshot, I was able to make it visible to everyone and, most of all, to preserve forever that thrill of enchantment, which I felt when I arrived on the scene of my misdeed. Anyone could se what they wanted to see, it wasn’t a documentary, if anything windows or mirrors on our unconscious.Those were my first years in Turin. This brought me to what I am now. The remarkable difference is that my initial introspection and interest for the abstract spaces have become the attention for the people that live those same spaces, and their stories: their alienation, their suffering, but also their happiness, their integration. Their beauty. Everything has a meaning, but it takes time to reach it. Some feelings won’t come back, brand new travels will begin, brand new colors will paint these walls, since we are sick and tired of the color black and of being alone in an abandoned factory.





2 Responses to “Analog memories of an underground surface”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: