To say the least, Venice is a daunting subject for a photographic project, as are the over photographed venues of New York City, Paris, Rome and San Francisco. This Italian city is a virtual cliché of photographic images. Silvia Camporesi is choosing to travel a different route employing vestiges and façades mixed with a wonderful dose of her own imagination to create a beautiful and haunting narrative.
Little is provided to help interpret the dreamlike and mysterious images, thus a story of your making. Sharply detailed photographs reveal out of the ordinary elements within the photographic borders, with the inclusion of animals as one of many motifs. These animals, both the type and stature are out of context within this place: shark, deer, bear, elephant and rabbit.
A prone woman with her closed eyes is lying on the banks of the shore, floating in and submerged in the water, provides metaphoric images of sleep. Suggesting that perhaps what are floating on the pages around her are a fragment of the dreams (madness) found in sleep. Her landscape, floating in the mist and fog, is softly defined as one might think of a past memory, which can floating in and out of sharp focus with aspects dulled to the effects of time. Water, not only ubiquitous to Venice, is also symbolic of birth and a life providing substance. The presence of water is a constant subtext to most of her photographs.
Camporesi’s melding of images at times appears unnatural and a bit forced; it is these juxtapositions that tweak our interest as they jar our perception of accepted reality. We can quickly accept that these are constructed images and then proceed to allow ourselves to delve deeper into the question of why.
Camporesi states: “The book is a dreaming diary, composed of views of the city and short texts. The project explores places through the filter of imagination and dreams, divided in 4 thematic series: “Foghorns” (city images lost in the fog); “Souvenirs” (typical Venetian objects staged in anonymous locations around the city); “Ghosts” (legends and surreal places which take place in Venice); and finally “where water begins” (tales of real and imagined floodings, of buildings and churches).”
The hardcover book is very nicely printed with an essay provided by Bruno Cora.
by Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook