Why I photograph

I think of photography in musical terms. The nonverbal, immediate, and epiphanic nature of music has a special affinity to the essence of photography, which to me is not language nor interpretation because its raw material is not thinking but reality itself: the being here-and-now of the real in its tautological potency.

However, in an apparent paradox, the photographic image remains open to the resonances and the echoes of interpretation presenting itself as open symbol, metaphor, enigma. Because it depicts simultaneously the real and the vision of the real, photography operates in an intermedial territory between real space and consciential space, reality and ideality, reality and dream.

For this reason I am not interested in specific subject matter as much as in an investigation of the conscience-space relationship in the fundamental perspective of distance, in the enigma of nearness and farness (Heidegger). It is not a retreat in private life nor an escape from my own historical horizon, but rather an attempt to grasp the universality of individual experience. I believe indeed that consciousness is essentially unified and compact throughout history, and that the gaze of the primitive man/woman as well as the gaze of the man/woman of the distant future converge in the gaze of every present individual.

Every man and every woman (or rather every living consciousness) is therefore the center and the aim of history in the unrepeatable experience of an eternal present. Photography contemplates and bears testimony to this present, to this time and place transformed into a singularity that recalls all of the future and all of the past, all proximities and all distances back to itself. In this sense the photographic instant is a window on the infinite.

I strive for a perceptual and musical sense of balance. I photograph in color as I see perfect equilibrium between form and color: on one side, form and harmonic proportions convey a sense of space in which we can still observe relations with and between things; on the other, color is the absolute and imponderable element, that of which nothing can be said or thought.

I use film for its higher degree of indexicality. Perceiving the visible as an emanation of an invisible “beyond”, I like to think of a photograph as something “stenciled off the real” (S. Sontag) beyond which the invisible mysteriously thrives.

To conclude, in my photographs I see place not as an object of representation but rather as a space in which humans experience the enigma of their spatial-temporal determination, perceiving themselves as simultaneously limited and unlimited in a mysterious equivalence of inside and outside, objective space and consciential space. In connecting those two spaces, and in the ultimate goal of communication, photography becomes an extension of sight beyond the limits of the individual and therefore a form of transcendence.

(October 2019)