Monday, September 19, 2011
I really enjoy doing portfolio reviews, there is something special in the constant challenge of finding something interesting to say about a series of images (and in front of the person who made them, and who often payed some money to listen to yours and other peoples' opinion), no matter how unfinished sometimes they might look, or maybe simply wrong. I think it is something you owe the person sitting with you there - often on opposite sides of a table - to say things that can actually help them improve their work: no matter how much you feel that particular portfolio or not, you have to find a way to connect with it and imagine what could be its best potential.
This year I had another chance to do portfolio reviews at Savignano Immagini Festival, and I wanted to share with you a few really interesting works circulating from table to table:
- Land Market is a series of elaborate scenes set in natural spaces by Stefano Parrini, turning beautiful landscapes into a sort of Land Art aimed at criticising our consumerist culture, even though everything blends so perfectly in some images that it rather feels like we are simply watching scenes from another planet, where maybe trolleys wander around freely and balloons can grow on trees.
- Michela Pandolfi has shown me the beginning of a really interesting and complicated project, Who. Where. , in which she restages scenes of photographs by famous artists using actors, but placing them digitally inside the background of the original photograph grabbed from the internet. She patiently merges the actors shot separately in a studio with the file of the original photo using Photoshop, I would imagine at the cost of hours and hours of painful work. The she jumps on a plane to reach an exhibition of the artist somewhere and photographs her images in front of the original art. So far the 'victim' has been Erwin Olaf, and the effect is halfway between a serious metalinguistic effort and a genuine laugh at the glossy investigation of human nature in Olaf's work, where top models in angst are supposed to enlighten us about the dark side of our soul. Seeing normal people with normal faces taking their place in those fancy compositions is definitely a way to make some justice and bring those images down to earth.
- Giorgio Di Noto is not really a discovery, as I happen to know very well the young man and we have been working together in the past, but seeing the jury giving him an award for his work City n. 0 on the peripheral suburbs of Rome was another confirmation of how well his photography is getting together - I really wish I could have made those photographs when I was 21-year-old myself, back in the day...