Valentina Fiore about Fabrizio Ceccardi photography: “Ordinary Chaos”.
On first impression, Ordinary Chaos entails an unavoidable paradox: the tendency of ordered and planned phenomena towards unpredictable irregularity.
But as Fernando Pessoa maintained, a paradox is often only worthwhile when it isn’t really a paradox, and as such, the ordinariness of chaos is for Fabrizio Ceccardi the lens through which to view and build upon reality.
His relationship with reality has from the beginning of his career led him to remove realism from the photographic world, which he approaches in the least indexical way possible.
This was the case with his nineties work on Polaroid – whose images were faded and superimposed onto different backgrounds – and in series like Landscapes (2000-2002) and Real Absence (2007), which are devoted to superimpositions, dissolves, shadows, out-of-focus and always partial perspectives that aim to make reality opaque and place it in a more intimate and uncertain dimension.
It eventually leads towards the apparent paradox of escaping reality via reality itself, straightforwardly, trying to reset it through total and static visions like in Secret Rooms (1998-2000) or in the latest series Out of Eden (2010-2011), which is made up of almost monochrome landscapes in which white is the dominant colour of absence, suspension, and improbability.
Paradox is what the sequence of works on show in this new project have in common. Ordinary Chaos has been assembled through contrasts which do not have much of a narrative but which are no less eloquent for that, and paradox is how to interpret its individual images.
Ordinary Chaos begins with distant panoramas that alternate with views of interiors whose very proximity actually makes them seem even further away.
Next come day- and night-time streets that lead to infinite destinations, thereby making them profoundly unknowable, and thus still.
In both works only the subtle hint of a human presence is evident, and it is one that has no interest in leaving any permanent trace on the places it has lived except for marks worn away by sand or death piled into heaps that are so completely legible as to be incapable of moving us or disordering our vision.
These settings are traversed by a deafening silence and by a geographical and existential depaysement (fr.) which is the central leitmotif of Fabrizio Ceccardi’s work, like the human presence that is established through its absence or traces, through its visual synecdoche.
The spaces are set in an unforced arrangement which was found by searching reality with the same methodical care used to recreate chaos in indoor spaces in previous works like Weissnichtwo (2008).
In the belief that ‘Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered, his search moved from an ‘ordered’ to an ‘ordinary’ chaos that is directly tested in reality.
The parts that make up Ordinary Chaos bring us to a dimension marked by the traces of the past but frozen in a present which leaves no questions. From places of being – which are naturally static and silent – and places of becoming – which seem everyday, often interstitial and steeped in human memory – we witness the appearance of places of a happening without events; of Deleuzian memory, abandoned to an unending chain of cause and effect that, despite some of its aspects having a visible openness, leaves us with a claustrophobic aftertaste.
The book’s closing sequence of three images brings us to lighter visions where the wind still seems able to shift time and the near imperceptible traces of humanity, which are opened to an outlook of change that is based on hope.
This hope seems however to be almost what Pessoa described as a ‘literary’ hope. It is a hope for a day and a light which one already knows will inevitably fade, a knowledge which one feels as external, and which everything will end up impeding.
One of the main things to bear in mind when looking through the pages of Ordinary Chaos is that it is not important to know the exact geographical location of the places we see; but nor would it be right to think of them as purely mental landscapes: they are unknowable and existential spaces, and are thus essentially truer than reality.
© Valentina Fiore.
Artist’s personal site: www.fabrizioceccardi.com
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Click on any picture below to look at the project. Full screen mode is recommended.