07 DECEMBER - 13 DECEMBER 2020
Photographing is a meditative act that stands out from the media barrage. In that fleeting moment of silence preceding each shot, the photographer abstracts his mind from time and space to listen to the world. The photographer, without making any noise and without interfering with the external environment, discreetly gazes reality. He waits patiently, suspended, in silence, until he creates images that whisper or, sometimes, shout. In the course of history, media has often limited the role of photography to visually support textual information. This exhibition intends to underline the significance of photography as an independent language. The photographer acts quietly, and, in silence, gives life to images that may speak loudly. At a time when we are used to the noise, movement, and frenzy of modern life, we have suddenly found ourselves face to face with silence. Therefore, now more than ever, it is easier to explore and share the experience of three photographers who have found silence as a key to interpret the world around them.
The Silent Land
When Davide Lhamid visited Jordan, he was expecting to find a noisy and chaotic land. He found, instead, silence. According to the photographer, silence was all over: ‘along roads, across valleys and mounts, the history’s silence, the poverty’s one, the silence in the sea, in the snow and then in the desert, the people’s silence, their hospitality’s one, the silence of prudence’. It is the sound that characterises Jordan. It seemed paradoxical: in a nation, whose borders are threatened by the bombardments of war, silence dominates. A silence that produces sound. The photographs are blended together with John Cage’s scores and notes. The composer, indeed, chose the silence as the paradoxical keystone of a musical research hinged on a de-construction of sound in pursuit of the natural sound, the silence.
The constraints of the last months generated an alienating loneliness and silence. When everything seemed to be slow motioned and soundless, Jacopo Valentini took the chance to contemplate upon the concept of time and its expansion. A silence that encourages meditation. Superlunare reveals a daily vision of the silenced and suspended atmosphere of Valentini’s hometown – Modena – at night, when between March and May a full Moon have coincided with a shorter distance between Earth and Moon. This phenomenon, known as Superluna, allowed the photographer to depict through a clear and golden pallor the time delay of the lockdown situation. The silence and the atypical light generated by the Superluna enabled the photographer to meditate on objects: how they are placed in a space and how they can be recorded in ordinary moments - a crucial aspect of his artistic research.
When Paul Thompson decided to capture sea horizons during full moon nights, he privileged the analog camera. The choice of using traditional techniques offered to the photographer the chance to capture the variation of landscapes from one to three hours at time. In this time frame, the photographer found in the silence required by the analog technique something unique: ‘Digital technologies have made it possible for photographers to make similar images in shorted exposures, but for me, there’s magic in the silence of waiting.’ A silence which seals an await. Shot alongside the costs of Great Britain, Italy, Wales and Scotland, -18 Degrees is a series of photographs illustrating the moment when the sun has dipped more than -18 degrees the Earth’s horizon. Apparently photographing nothing, they are, on the contrary, photographing everything.