PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Afra Bin Dhaher, Alia Lootah, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, John Clang, Lamia Joreige, Mohamad-Said Baalbaki, Monika Weiss, Nedim Kufi, Reza Aramesh, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Tomoko Hayashi, Wafaa Bilal, Youssef Nabil
“(The) lament for a life left behind in a land that will forever be memory and myth, and the whispered elegy that is the prayer of a poet possessed with the promise of a perfect land always yearned for, never gained.”
- Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Ancient Earth
Absence is a topos of literary relevance, based on the roots of European culture and civilisation. The theme of travel is strictly connected to that of separation, of disruption and of the inevitability of making the farewells. The reverse of these feelings is of course the attempt to neutralize or even annihilate the evidence of severance through a series of stratagems, which are methods that voyagers, travellers, and migrants have perfected over the millennial history of humanity or, individually, during the course of one’s experience.
Photography has a privileged position among the expedients recently adopted to minimize the effects of nostalgia, and as absurd as it might seem, also in order to increase those same effects.
We carry images in notebooks, wallets and suitcases (and in the last decades in telephones, computer and other electronic devices) in order to have a physical, “objective” reminder of places and individuals of high emotional relevance, whose memory we cannot allow to fade or dissolve. Documentarism, photographic archives and artistic photography seem to share a deep interest in the collection of visual relics, although their treatment dramatically changes moving on a line that starts with preservation and reaches re-elaboration and interpretation.