Today I wanted to talk about the world going into pieces. Not because of the most expensive royal marriage ever, nor because of yet another bloody shooting in f. Texas, but because of my intention to make a review of a transcript of a photographer's speech (Garry Winogrand) on the work of his fellow photographers (Davidson's "garbage", Frank's lessons …) and of his own. How pathetic this would be? (*)
That's why I have changed my mind and I will present you a picture, among many, of the work of Marco Giusfredi (aka Guy le Guiff) on this subject. What subject? What else?
It's enough to have a peek in his cover photos album or just google it, flickr it, IG it, and there they will pop out, permanently self-conscious, casually sophisticated, looking over and through you at the same time. "Women are beautiful" … in Paris too, with an Italian twist "Siamo così, dolcemente complicate, Sempre più emozionate, delicate"
I am curating pictures of his since 2015 but I've only met Marco in an elevator during the Brussels Street Photography Festival last year. We only exchanged a couple of words. It couldn't be otherwise. A worker of photography takes pictures, (s)he doesn't do small talk.
Marco is for Paris what Garry was for New York. An obsessive "hammer and saw" photographing a female population in continuous ebullition.
Garry was a NewYorker, Marco is *not* a Parisien, proof that "Italians do it better".
(*) Nevertheless I will stick to a couple of Garry's phrases:
"A hammer, a saw, a piece of time and space. That’s what a photograph is, nothing else. Alright?"
"It’s a funny business. It’s a compulsion. I wind up, I’m weak, you know, if I see an attractive woman, I'll try to take a picture."
Back in the 70's during a logorrheic speech, G. Winogrand nailed a good one: "The photograph has to be more dramatic than what has been photographed. It's all about drama or nothing!"
Not poetic? Poetry has to be dramatic!
Not narrative? Narration has to be dramatic!
Now, how that works? Can it be constructed? Yes, but the joggling with the documentary authority of the picture should be extremely subtile. As soon as the viewers are confronted with a subjective (staged) picture they lose their interest in resolving any ambiguities present.
The transformation(s) of the content(s) are still there but the need to untangle the puzzling elements disappears.
Nevertheless, the pictures presented here are powerful enough to stand both ways.
The question is: which one is closer to the thin line between objectivity and subjectivity? Which one maintains the documentary authority of an otherwise mechanical process condemned to change into something meaningful or die?
Because mechanical it is (chemical stands no more).
"I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. ! free myself for today and forever from human immobility. I’m in constant movement. I approach and pull away from objects, I creep under them. I move alongside a running horse’s mouth, I fall and rise with the falling and rising bodies. This is I, the machine, manoeuvring in the chaotic movements, recording one movement after another in the most complex combinations, Freed from the boundaries of time and space, I co-ordinate any and all points of the universe, wherever I want them to be. My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you." - Dziga Vertov, Soviet film director, 1923
"An educated critic should have known the author of the painting." I said to myself.
"Unless it is not a famous one and the painting is only there as the result of a family portrait, another vestige of yet another dethroned aristocrat", was my second thought.
As I am not one of the former, an image search would have helped. "No results! Best guess for this image: crowd!"
Time to ask for a higher resolution of the picture to decipher the mystery. Or should I?
"No need!" I have concluded. Martin got me! In the frame, in the frame of the frame, in the mystery of a mystery, in the secret of a secret.
"Truth is not objectivity, authenticity can stand without veracity" they say. And yet this image beats any logical conclusion drawn from essays on representations in art. It beats any aesthetic argument based on which we may explain (partially by default) its impact.
Because, dear readers, the painting just flowed out and recreated a room where only the blue shirt stayed in place. Even the "obvious" keeper denies her role through her posture.
Everything switches continuously back and forth. The lady into a girl, the walls into screens, the mouldings into puzzle pieces, the floor into Aladdin's magic carpet.
Sometimes (if not always) we should not try to explain nor talk about principles or aesthetics, but this time, for sure.
The image is a cry out: "Purists keep out, pure viewers welcome and step in!"
This is the public curated Gallery of the STREET CORE PHOTOGRAPHY Group