Paola De Pietri
The exhibition ‘Apèrto’ features works that Paola De Pietri has produced over the course of some twenty years, ranging from large format black-and-white photographs from the series “Questa Pianura” (2004, 2014-17) to the series of “Dittici” of smaller dimensions and in colour, that date back to 1997.
The word apèrto (‘open’) is the common thread of the exhibition in the senses of: not closed; of things or activities which have been started and which are therefore underway, not yet complete; of something of which the outcome is as of yet undecided and thus still unforeseeable or unprejudiced; wide, spacious; in the open air, in an outdoor place, not covered or sheltered.
Among the images there is that of a man lying on top of a platform on the lake who appears to have given in to the temptation to bathe in the sun, his arms open, in the still air between the tyre and the black shoes laid out carefully next to him.
The landscape and the portraits are strongly influenced here by a sensorial, vital, atmospheric perception, connected to the annual cycle and the passing of time – both when ‘cosmic’ links may be observed in the landscapes such as the shadow stretching over a hillside, reminding us of the earth’s rotation, and also in the microcosm of winter branches, weighed down by blocks of ice, or in the evolution of a storm cloud that changes shape and colour in the space of a few moments.
In the images from the series “Questa Pianura” (2004, 2014-17), which almost represents an archaeological research, the disappearance of the peasant civilisation has left the land scattered with falling-down farmhouses and isolated trees which, bereft of their original functions, are seen like the words left over from a fragmentary discourse of which the overall sense may no longer be grasped. They are totemic images in which time on one hand makes the constructions crumble, almost turning them into sculptures, while the trees attempt to recoup their original shape.
Lastly, in the series of “Diptychs”, one or two people are photographed a short time apart during the crossing of a space in the completion of a path. “The stories are minimal, scarcely perceptible, and ideally infinite. Each of them is at the same time unrepeatable and entirely meaningless: regulated by the punctuation of time imposed by the double image. The reference however is to a time in a certain sense suspended and absolute, absurd”. (Roberta Valtorta)
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