The world of television seems infinite: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there’s always a spot, a tv series, a reality show or a televised debate to keep you company.
What if the programming is being completely revolutionized and being held by the normal flow of nature? It’s not a kind of dystopic future, but the idea that has inspired the last installation of the artist, Shirin Abedinirad, Revision, realized for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2018 in Victoria.
A pyramid of old televisions reflects through its particular screen an image of the natural world that surrounds it, as the Australian ocean’s waves or the long beach or a rainbow after the rain or the reflection of someone who is passing by and is watching himself in the screen of a television for the first time.
It’s just the most underrated tv shows of the century, reality.
It is on days like these when the temperatures start to rise and the days get longer, that we feel a strange nostalgia for summer. A dual feeling that manifests itself both as a lack of past summers and as impatience in waiting for the one that is about to begin. Then, every time it finally arrives it seems strange, but it only takes a few days, just a weekend at the beach, to get back to feeling comfortable with our legs uncovered and the sun caressing our skin. In this time, however, when even a short trip out of town seems like a colossal undertaking, Lavinia Cernau‘s photographs come to our aid and cure our nostalgia.
Lavinia Cernau is a photographer based in Transylvania, Romania, and although this land offers unique landscapes to which she is very attached, photography has led her to explore other places.
From the Greek islands to the Spanish beaches, from the south of France to the Italian coast, Lavinia goes where summer is at its best and with her camera she is always ready to capture it, to imprint it forever in images that could be part of anyone’s holiday album.
No matter where she is, the fundamental element of her artistic production is the warm and embracing light. The colours of dawn and dusk cover everything with a patina that transforms views and vistas into magical places.
“As a photographer, I’m drawn to the contrast between light and shadow at sunrise or sunset – both my favorite times to shoot.”
As we browse through her portfolio, we are reminded of the scents of summer, the sound of pine trees blowing in the wind, the salt that remains on the skin, the pleasure of an ice-cold drink, the hours spent sunbathing.
Lavinia Cernau’s shots are distinguished by a particular aesthetic that seems to have come straight out of films such as “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, where life seems more beautiful and easier just because it is lived a stone’s throw from a cliff that plunges into the blue sea. In fact, the world of cinema is not far from the photographer’s imagination, as she told us: “I find I think of what I’m going to shoot as cinema stills as I always want my images to tell a story. I want people to be moved, to relate to a feeling inside them when they look at my pictures..”
Checked tablecloth, spaghetti with sauce, red wine, him in a white tank top and her in a housecoat: this is the Italy of stereotypes, this is the Bel Paese seen by others, this is “Sesso italiano“, the photographic project by Martina Dendi and Lorenzo Paci.
Born in 1994, Martina Dendi was born in Livorno and is a photographer who built up her background and knowledge at the LABA in Florence, Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, the Accademia di Brera in Milan and the Moholy-Nagy Művészeti Egyetem in Budapest. Today he lives in Milan and has already produced the photobook Caducità and several exhibitions.
A year younger, Lorenzo Paci was born in Cecina, where he still works as a barman. Attracted by the world of theatre and the art of acting since he was a teenager, today he continues to participate in productions and short films.
The meeting between Martina and Lorenzo gave birth to “Sesso italiano“, a photographic project that starts from the most common stereotypes linked to Italy and recontextualises them. The images update the clichés that often characterise us abroad (or on which we sometimes make bitter jokes ourselves) and show how they are paradoxical and grotesque in today’s world.
There are three themes in particular that Martina and Lorenzo question: religion, patriotism and family. These themes are represented through recognisable symbols such as a crucifix around the neck or the national team jersey.
God. The Italy of the roaring ’60s, the economic boom and Fred Bongusto is evoked here, a reality that clashes violently with our generation, touched by the 2008 crisis and Covid. The climate of suspension of the total, with its plastic, forced poses, is disrupted in detail: thus a catharsis takes place of all the repressed sexuality that that generation had to endure because of the constant presence of taboos in their lives.
Homeland. The moment of the match is the peak of Italian patriotism. In a very young nation, which has never managed to quell the enmities between neighbouring countries, when ‘Italy plays’ we become the proudest and most cohesive of peoples. Italy, clad only in its flag, attends the match alongside its fan-lover. Their complicated relationship only finds peace in this context.
Family. A clear homage to Casa Vianello, we find ourselves in the most intimate moment of the day. Sourja, the only “daughter” they can afford given their job insecurity, keeps them company. The disillusionment with the future is catalysed in a perpetual search for stimuli that distracts from the present and weakens every impulse.
Once we have finished looking at the photographs in “Sesso italiano“, we cannot help but wonder whether these stereotypes, these clichés that distinguish us and that have characterised us for so long have stood the test of time or whether, adapted to today, they are merely a caricature of a reality that is no longer our own.
Born in 1984 in Barcelona, Ibai Acevedo is a photographer who, thanks to his shots, takes us into a world on the border between dream and reality.
The one between Ibai and photography was neither a love born as a child, nor a love at first sight: there was a time, that seems so far away in which he was a graphic designer and in which he spent the summers peacefully, without having to take pictures of anything. Then something slowly changed.
Today Ibai Acevedo has found in the camera the means to express emotions and states of mind. To do this he has developed a very particular style, able to capture us and never let us go.
Through an almost exasperated and unnatural use of lights and colors, Ibai Acevedo manages to transform ordinary subjects and places, such as a bedroom or a bath in the sea, into something extraordinary and surreal.
We recognize everything in his shots, each element seems real but at the same time impossible.
From the pictorial self-portraits of the past to the self-portraits taken with a smartphone, humans have always been fascinated by the photographic representation of themselves.
In fact, to question the meaning of beauty and identity, the Milanese photographerSofia Masini created a series of surreal nudes against the backdrop of an empty apartment.
Her portraits, which are very delicate in colours are very strong in form. Distorted nudes, faceless figures jamming into the body, in strange corners created by the same arts.
A project that, according to the words of the photographer herself, allowed her to listen to her body, look inside without filters and find a safe space where she can express her feelings without fear.