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THE MEANING OF STILL MOVEMENTS

Art Print: My Childhood is a Circus 

When I was a kid my father used to be an amateur photographer. There were always cameras, lenses and rolls of Kodachrome 64 in the house. Dad showed me the ropes and gave me a few books to learn how to “properly” photograph. The nitty gritty of mainstream photography was as follows: a good picture must be correctly exposed, sharp and with its subject in focus. Blur (motion blur and focus blur alike) was the ultimate sin of a photographer, the dividing line between the pro from the tourist taking snapshots during the summer trip with his family. The Photography refrain, Expose-Focus-Stand Still, was the cornerstone.

As a matter of fact the first goal of the early photographers and their daguerreotypes was the exact reproduction of reality on a physical medium. They were very successful and they stole the function of reality reproduction from painting (thus freeing the supreme fine art of centuries’ old burden. Without Photography we probably would have never had Impressionism, Cubism, Abstractionism and all the other modernist movements).

Let me start from this assumption again: Photography is the exact reproduction of reality. Fine, but what reality are we talking about? A simplified version or the complex universe of emotions that unravel when we deal with a special place or event?

Speaking physically, not philosophically, I have been very short-sighted since my teen years. When I wake up in the morning or when my eyes tire after hours in front of my monitor, I take my glasses off and simply look at the world. The world my eyes see, my reality, is not sharp and will never be. Without the glasses, blur is my kingdom and let me tell you something: it’s a beautiful world, much better than the focused version. Boundaries cease to be strict, colors mellow and mingle, far away becomes a land of fantasy and imagination.

The same happens when I dream or when I delve into my favorite memories. Reality is not a still image, it’s not clear, it doesn’t have only one focus, it’s not always properly exposed. Reality can be dull, unbearably bright or deeply dark. Dreams and Memories, our real reality, are made of complex recipes, structures that melt together. Vision, smells, tremors, sounds and deep, multidimensional feelings, the true language of the soul.

My body of work called “Still Movements” derives from this necessity of mine to capture in a frame this deep, augmented reality, what my soul truly sees instead of the superficial first layer our eyes scan every second of the day.

The starting point in “Still Movements” is always something easily recognizable by our cognitive memory: a landscape, a person, a flower, the ocean, a city. Subsequently the object, the person or the view is filtered by my inner lens, morphed by creative use of long exposures (motion blur) and the bokeh (focus blur), the unique and marvelous quality of out of focus areas of the image, where colors get cozy and talk to each other without prejudice. Colors in the original image captured by the camera are subdued, enhanced or swapped, according to my mood and reminiscence of the moment.

Still movements are pictures developed in the darkroom of my mind.