I have always been fascinated by the Renaissance paintings of the ideal city. Order, geometry, light: the main characteristics of these paintings. With A Neutral Place I want to rebuild my ideal city, and I tried to bring together all the places I visited in an imaginary and unique city. The same perspective and geometry, the same light and order, even if the cities are many, all different. I then made a series of photographs analyzing the urban spaces to isolate what interested my research, eliminating any element of disturbance, isolating the scene from the context of the modern city, seeking order in the chaos.
It is not therefore a documentation, but a reconstruction through conscious choices. In this way, those who look at my photographs are in a unique city, real but at the same time imaginary and invisible. Basically the purpose of art is to make the invisible visible.
— Franco Sortini, Salerno, Italy
My art practice engages with our culture’s relationship (or lack thereof) with the natural world. This relationship is a complex one—we need it, we revere it, we protect it, and we also destroy it. But above all, we have separated ourselves from the natural world. In my work, I explore how these barriers and desires manifest themselves in our lives and our society.
Over the past few years, one way I have been exploring these relationships is by creating and photographing miniature landscapes using fake fur as the land substrate. The resulting series of large scale photographs, titled O Pioneer, hearken back to the pioneering Western photographers of the late 1800s, in a tongue-in-cheek manner. These photographers, such as William Henry Jackson and Carleton Watkins, surveyed the West in North America and brought back stunning imagery of splendor and bounty. Their images helped propel the problematic narrative of Manifest Destiny. Much of my imagery is directly borrowed from these historical photographs, while some simply reference the genre. The resulting series of photographs are clearly a simulation, a farce, with the fake fur as a reference to the lure of potential bounty as well as the resulting devastation.
— Areca Roe, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
This Must Be the Place is a critical and curious response to being submerged in a new culture, an attempt to find my place in new surroundings. Recently having moved to Boston, I was struck by the obvious differences between my homeland of Greece and the U.S.
Exploring the area that I now call home, walking around the neighborhood and the diverse cityscapes, I turn my attention to matters overlooked to me, fragments of working class suburbia that would seem normal to Americans but seem odd through my eyes, like empty driveways and cluttered backyards.
Through these images I address longing: I’m looking in, peeking out to the other side, dreaming of the possible future. There is always an element that leads you in; a hope that dreams will be fulfilled, that stability will prevail, that this sense of loneliness and seclusion will fade away.
— Yorgos Efthymiadis, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
This project concentrates on photography at night. I try to capture a unique atmosphere at the moment. The purpose of my project is a story about loneliness at night, out in the big city. For this purpose, I used only light and darkness.
I was inspired by the places which aroused my curiosity during travel at night. These places are borders of the city, found by spontaneously getting lost on the road. The images were created in the period 2014-2016.
In my project I used the weather conditions which existed at the time of taking the photographs. The long exposure technique is very specific. The pictures are created as unquotable. They are impossible to replicate.
— Pablo Charnas, Wadowice, Poland