“Più penso alla fine art photography più mi viene in mente il martello, il cartone spugnato, lo scotch biadesivo, la segatura, ma anche viscere, avvoltoi, cani aschiacciati, macchie d’olio, grasso di motore, scarpe sfondate, materia grezza, autoscasso”.
Giovanni Ambrosio was born in 1978 in Naples (Italy), and he’s currently based in Paris.
“I like the feeling of being a stranger, I like to go beyond thresholds. I attended Sergio De Benedittis’ course of Photography and Desire at Nigma Fotografi School in Naples (Italy) and later I have been a student of Photography and Contemporary Art department at Paris 8 University in France (but not until the final diploma).
Photography studies are not my main education: I hold a master of French and Portuguese literature in Italy and a master (called Dea at the time) of Cinema society and literature in France. After about ten years as a teacher (Italian as foreign language), in 2010 I started my career as a professional photographer and artist. My personal projects are mostly works based on classic genres of fine art photography which I use to refer to in latin: effigies, spatium, argumenta, naturae mortae, abstracta. Photography is one of my favorite materials, because it is quite cheap, very easy to work on and, given its electronic nature, it can always be fully reshaped.
I also develop a body of works based on a kind of minimalist painting in which gesture, paint, paper are on the same level. Usually photography eventually step in to gather all those elements into sedimented mixed media. On the other hand I work on photography, graphic design and communication strategies assignments: I call them studio. The studio is also a place where I start to work on visual matters I can later use in my personal research.”
About Arrêts fréquents / Frequent stops
Arrêts fréquents – which means Frequents stops – is my first series based on images taken from a window. Title is coming from a sticker very easy to find in France on cars used for delivery. The starting point of this essai is a thought on the link between photography and travel, which is still a compass point of so many photographic works. But going in depth into this classic practice- I go elsewhere searching for stunning images – I can’t see more than a colonialist heritage of exoticism and overall this endless faith in the photographic truth: things are, things exist, I got evidences, photographs.
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So, as I base my work on exploiting classic genres of fine art photography, I decided to go into travel photography, but avoiding any type of depiction, of representation, going for a ground zero of landscape, letting things come to me through this archetypal frame, the window of train. Collecting all those fragments just as memory of this gesture: train stops, my eyes go through the window.At the beginning I wanted to add a subtitle: travel photography without even getting out of the train. But eventually there’s no need for such an explanation. I remember that once I was introduced to a gallery’s director who said: there are just stations out of a train’s window. He meant, in a negative horizon, that there was nothing to see, which is precisely absolutely positive to me: a complete abstraction.
La façon moderne de voir consiste à voir par fragments.
Susan Sontag (Garder le sens mais altérer la forme)
Je hais les voyages et les explorateurs
Claude Lévi-Strauss (Tristes tropiques)
On the other hand, visually speaking, there is something very important to me coming from the pictures of this series, the beauty of photographic matter: imprecise, raw, not clear, abstract, even poor, mundane.
On a third level, pictures should also relate this intermediary situation of travelling. Qualquer coisa de intermédio as portuguese poet Ana Luísa Amaral would say. There has been a moment of my life in which I have been crossing Europe in train, following this strange feeling of start and stop in a situation of, in fact, separation from the world and you can just look at it from a casual fissure that stops in front of you.
Beginning from the travel:
to squeeze this late hour like an orange.
Ana Luísa Amaral
(badly translated by the artist)
Una volta lontani,
da tutto questo cinema alla fine
in testa cosa rimane?
Una fila di esempi, una serie
di facciate di case, rapide e serie.
Umberto Fiori (Esempi – Esempi)
Il treno porta ritardo
e non si muove, non parte.
Umberto Fiori (Sosta – Esempi)
VIAGENS E PAISAGENS
Começo da viagem:
espremer como laranja esta hora tardia.
Sem olhos, mas com túneis, memória
confortável na paisagem
que é sempre a mesma aos gomos
variados: tu (sem descrições maiores)
No escuro embalador que me faz mal,
uma sede maior que nem o sumo apaga
nem o fumo que faz dentro do túnel
Tremente carruagem na velocidade
atónita do tempo (que o momento já
tarda e o conforto afinal só ilusão)
E incómodo caroço é o bastante
para rasgar o chão
Ana Luísa Amaral (POESIA REUNIDA, 1990-2005)