Catania, ITALY – Explorations

Massimo Cristaldi Mostre Lascia un Commento

By Claudio Allia & Massimo Cristaldi

Catania (Italy), May 4th to July 15th 2007
Galleria del Vecchio Bastione
Via Del Vecchio Bastione 27

Opening Event: May 4th 2007, h. 19.00

Associazione Culturale Vecchio Bastione
Associazione Culturale Portarossa
“Esplorazioni” photographs are in Traces

This exhibition could also be titled “Explor(e)/A(ct)ions” as the pause interposed between the two parts of the word shows the will to distance oneself from the tourist-exotic illustrations which are commonly referred to as “photographs” but, most of all, the pause is meant to underline the active value of the photographic image. The works by Claudio Allia and Massimo Cristaldi shown here give evidence of a study they are making on simple and humble sicilian subjects: exteriors of uncultivated lands, interiors of tumbledown uninhabited country houses, skeletons of abandoned old factories; subjects which often pass unnoticed or are neglected in our daily life because they don’t have the charm of beautiful views. Pushed by common artistic sensibility and spirit of research, our authors set off in search of this reality too often considered plain and then neglected, looking for unusual and precious images able to catch their curiosity and provoke strong emotions. Only these images do they consider worth being photographed, never yielding to the easy charm of “beautiful images” or “conventional landscapes”. contrast with the surrounding landscape. These architectures, saved and During the development and printing phases, the original emotion goes on acting inside the authors’ souls looking for a definition which eventually becomes a photograph. The images of our authors seem to talk in a sort of visual counterpoint, characterized by the same passion for discovery which highlights their common will to explore reality but also their different approach. Claudio Allia prefers the interiors of abandoned old isolated small houses in the country where the action of the passing of time and of nature’s changing course is added to man’s negligence creating a magic atmosphere which offers ideas for a non-representational rendering of reality with strong chromatic effects. He often puts in the foreground objects abandoned by men, recovering them as protagonists of a surreal scene characterized by strong light and shade effects which contrast with the surrounding space and with nature, which remains a grey and silent witness. In Massimo Cristaldi’s photoghraphs, the architectures are clear protagonists of space. They play a meaningful chromatic and volumetric put into evidence by the framings, become witnesses of an ephemeral greatness betrayed by the presence of ironic details, clearly revealed by the titles, details through which nature seems to mock man. A short conclusion which applies to both the authors’ works: beauty lies in the viewer’s eye and when photography “builds” images and is not limited to capture them as they are, then it detaches itself from “reportage” and becomes Art.

Franco De Grazia, English Translation by Marzia Zappalà

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