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Vincenzo Castella 'Aiming at the Dust'    Dec 7, 2013 - Feb 8, 2014


Curated by Marco Meneguzzo

Vincenzo Castella, About The Renaissance Series

The thing I most love about photography is its EMPIRICAL - INQUIRING - DOUBTING character, as though it were an extraordinary machine for imagining and glimpsing the complex and often fleeting face of reality.
There are no stories to be told but, perhaps, there are models to imagine and visions to recuperate.
Photography is the language most suited to listening to reality as a totality of what can be seen and what cannot be seen. Photography does not come about by choosing fragments but, rather, by invoking the simultaneous participation of a myriad of details, impressions, accidents, facts, and bodies that are restructured like something new in a new picture whose dynamics and hierarchic logic we cannot completely control. It is like dealing with cinematographic, camera-edited "real time" in a single frame of work. Photography has the property of associating together all times and all spaces. But as soon as a possible vision "leans out", it evaporates and shows only ourselves; the more the photographer tries to impose the result, the more it becomes in some way overwritten by his preconceptions.
My approach is to try to share symbolically the prerequisites of forensic disciplines, to create and organize visual planes as though they were documents for reconstructing identities and events, the test of life that begins from a trauma and the loss of the body... and the atmospheric veil.
To photograph means understanding the dust that separates you from the thing you are looking at: it is nothing more than the colour of the dust in the air that colours all the rest. What is important for me is this mechanism, not a beautifying search for a single colour.
For my project about the Sacred Italian Renaissance I turned my eyes towards a point equidistant between sculpture, painting, and dust.
The amount of time needed for shooting is the same as the amount of time necessary for making changes on the scene. Even in apparent immobility. In the meantime the changes in light add up. I would like to increasingly gather the time within an image.

Biographical notes

Vincenzo Castella was born in Naples (1952) and currently lives in Milan. He began his activity as a phographer in 1975; between 1975 and 1982 he concluded Geografia Privata (Private Geography), color photos of domestic interiors. In 1976, 1978 and 1980 he is in the United States, where he carried out the Hammie Nixon's People project: a semi-immaginary biography of some bluesmen, dedicated to the Afro-American, their lives and the Southern-American cities architecture (photos and 16mm film). Since 1980, he exposes his works in Europe and in the United States. In 1998 he started the series of photos taken from the buildings of European cities. His photographies appear to be increasingly a-narrative: he developed actual hypotheses of visual crossover on the complexity of the tangle and “weave” of the cities, by producing large color prints from large and ultra large format film. This research dwells on the topics of distance and dislocation. Images of Italian and European cities that belong to this line of research are the ones of Naples, Milan, Turin, Rouen, Caen, Le Havre, Helsinki and Berlin, as well as the images of other regions and sites such as Ramallah and Jerusalem. From 2006 Castella realizes installations out of large-format photographic negatives: it is the case of Cronache da Milano (Chronicles from Milan), work presented at Art Unlimited – Basel 2009, where the movements of a virtual camera render an articulated reading of the photo itself and of the relations in the life of the city, with what is visible and what is not. Away from any form of style evolution, his work is tied instead to the systematic reduction of the repertoire and to the synthesis of the language.

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