Laboratory 2008

Didactic exhibition of photography - Students of Man Ray

From 19th until 29th September 2008

by Pamela Sau

Cultural Centre Man Ray, during its fourteenth year of didactic activity, offers a collective exhibition of students of Man Ray Photo School 2007-2008, directed by professional photographer and video operator Stefano Grassi, author of important works and artistic operations. Photographic image is a powerful suggestive tool of transformation, of analysis, of interpretation and construction of reality.  Our culture nowadays lives for association of images. In the same way like a language, images communicate, but very often, because of their endless flow, human mind does not manage to catch a meaning in their singularity, until it results fleeting and confusing. This course of photography is six-monthly, is directed to studies of photographic techniques and of development of ability to read images through the theoretic and practical lessons lead by photographers, artists and cultural operators.  Various excursions help students to discover a territory where they are living. Every student in the beginning of the course has to choose one theme to confront themselves with and to experiment a new way to observe a reality through the elaboration of critical and constructive sense, necessary for a research of their personal style.
This didactic exhibition untitled Laboratory 2008 is a result of the researches of individual students, assisted by noted professional photographer Stefano Grassi, on the themes that vary from geographic reportage until social portrait, from macro photography until industrial archaeology, from photographic story until the conceptual. Also is present in the exhibition a group work realized during the course on the theme of the PIN UP, seductive and provocative icons, the phenomenon of the Fifties. The theme, chosen during the year, is projected by all students according to one defined basic theme: set picture. Important was recruitment of the actors who posed for the scenes according to an accurate drafting of the script and realization of the project of arrangement (set, illumination, perspectives and points of view, dresses, hairstyles and make-up).
This operation is a result of a group work directed by Stefano Grassi, where every student did his best in the role of the director and contributed to realization of series. An exhibition continues with the themes of single students.
Images of Antonino Muratore have conceptual nature, he works on different semantic levels. His photographies metaphorically are representations of Calm and of Chaos, lines remind rationality and instinct, elements in the base of the choices of every single person. Questions in Sardinian language, symbol of almost lost identity, reinforce the sense.
Roberto Coghe is concentrated on the theme of arms, favourite object of his visual research. Arms are seen like a fundamental human tool, starting point of his creative faculty. Arms like a figurative expression of the life: lines of palms remind present, past and future.
Gianni Pisanu realizes two series of Still Life. In the first, entitled “Codes and Geometries”, he focuses his attention on  objects found in his house. Only numbers and contours of forms surface from the white and aseptic space, as in some way becoming alive and communicating something not finished. In the second, entitled “Minimalhouse”, few objects in the photographies speak about the essentiality, about the minimalism, about the style of house and its habitants.
Strong psychological merit have photographies of Marcello Nocera, that, having strong colours, reflect about the theme of Violated Childhood. Children are unrecognisable, they have deformed bodies and looks. They are protagonists of gloomy and ghostly landscapes, portent about unclear future that waits for them. Childhoods tenderness,  unaware and undefended, is compared with a death and a state of abandonment of things.
“Interrupted cinema: on the scene of crime” is a name of the theme proposed by Veronica Bolacchi who is inspired by big names of cinema and photography, Alfred Hitchcock in “The window in the backyard” in 1954, Cindy Sherman with her Untitled Film Still of Seventies and Jeff Wall with his studied photographies of domestic interiors of Eighties, that shows how it is able to enter in the scene without arousing suspects and how it is able to give to spectators a “suspensions of the judgement”.
Martina Piras explores human attitudes through the realization of portraits, each of them has as a title one of the Seven Deadly Sins. A frame, recreated inside of the image with a dark background, isolates and limits single character that does not care about the objective of the camera and embodies a sin,whose victim it is. Photography can become a useful tool of introspective analysis of the reality that surrounds us.
Giulia Barranu and Laura Felice research the theme of social portrait. During the year they pass through the historic district of Cagliari of Marina, the most multi-ethnic of the city, to capture the depth of the looks of its habitants. Through these  images, honest and  full of colours and intensity, we can know better migrant city cultures.
Fiorella Sanna chooses the theme of the female portrait. She photographs in the domestic environment, women working and women taking a rest while photographic eye hangs inquirer in their intimacy.
Fabrizio Massidda experiments with a potentiality of techniques through the macro photography. An endless source of inspiration is a nature and its numberless details that through the light plays, forms and colours emerge from images realized from very close distance. Wonderful and unexpected microcosm that otherwise would be invisible to our naked eye.
A lot of students dedicate their work to photography of landscapes. “Beyond the city” is a title of photographies of Paolo Medas who realizes photographic reportage of the Seui city and its surroundings.  There are two series of photographies in colours and black and white where in the both is highlighted silent and constant dialogue between nature and anthropic architectures.
Valeria Randazzo transfers in her theme a passion for a natural landscape and her photographies subjects are beaches of the western coast of Sardinia. Some framing of waves and of foam of the surface of water remind, with a soft and diffused light, pictorial echo.
Other possibility to a landscape that surrounds us is expressed by Floriana Sirigu in her theme of industrial archaeology. Images of architectures of Saline of Cagliari show inexorably signs of the time, colours of rust, of the life that does not exist any more, but that historic memory of Cagliari can not forget, thanks to testimony of photography.
Backstage photos document the work, commitment and passion demonstrated during the course by all students and their teacher, Stefano Grassi.

Pamela Sau

In collaboration with:

Fondazione Banco di Sardegna