Photography and reality

In spite of their figurative and affirmative nature, photographs are obscure surfaces. Because they affirm reality as appearance, photographs betray the illusory nature of perception itself. All photographs seem to say: just as this surface, direct perception is also an illusion. The real is unreachable, as it is nothing more than an image, a representation, a content of consciousness.

However, the opposite is also true. If we accept that the visible is not merely an illusion, but an emanation and extension of an elsewhere located beyond consciousness, then the visible can conceal the depth of an inaccessible and unthinkable space. The only sign of this space is a silence: the non-ascertainable certainty of its presence.

Looking into this space (or better, towards this space, as it is invisible) means to open all roads, suspend all judgements, accept all possibilities, surrender all certainties, renounce all interpretations. Time, space, language, and consciousness appear for what they are: not absolute principles, but intermediaries and translators of deeper fabric of reality that is beyond our reach.

Indeed, the invisible cannot be thought; every attempt to represent it mentally leads to idolization and abstraction. We may only perceive its silence, scent, absence - or linger in the suspicion of its existence.

Perhaps it is through this back door that the closed world of quantities and measures will return to be an open reality, an enchanted world. The only way is the absence of a way (or coexistence of all ways). Any thought, theme, or path imposed to reality risks offering answers to questions, solutions to the enigmas, thereby generating ideologies that would force us back into a closed world - a world in which everything has already been read, interpreted, deciphered.

Metaphors and all forms of symbolic-religious realism will also cease to signify or define to finally become modalities of liberation and non-delimitation of meaning. Sense will freely flow beyond the principle of identity that, in a closed world, led us to proclaim with certainty that a thing is not another thing, resulting in a functional but false image of reality.

Just as "negative theology" can save us from false images of God by telling us what God is not, the only way to save us from false images of reality is to renounce any pronouncement we are tempted to make about reality itself. We must lose ourselves in the immense empty space of what cannot be seen and yet exists beyond consciousness. In this empty space the appearance of all images, of all things, is a a gift and a miracle. Images are not searched for, but welcomed.

Renouncing the idols of the mind can return us to an enchanted world. For this reason I wish my images to be born out of something I have not searched for: an obscurity, a darkness, a forgetfulness. Doors, openings, and symbols lie on the threshold of what we cannot think nor reach, but only obscurely contemplate. Everything is an epiphany, a message from a beyond whose existence is self-evident, and yet can only be appreciated in the unstable and ephemeral forms of this world.

(November 2019 - March 2020)