Exhibition: Francesco Merlini – Valparaiso

Opening: 6.9.2022, 7pm
Exhibition: 7.9. – 15.10.2022

Francesco Merlini – Valparaiso, Exhibition at Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), 2022, If once scored, the trees began to bleed, relics would be carved instead of cut.

 

For many years I have tried to narrate a valley where I was born and where I’ve spent a lot of time since when I was a child even if I grow up in a big city like Milano. This valley is a place that I loved and hated, a place I’m tied to by an emotional link that involves me, my father passed away when I was fifteen and my mother disappeared few years ago.

At a certain point I decided to put aside any kind of documentary approach with the awareness that I have never been interested in the beauty of natural scenery or in the objective reality of this place. I was interested in giving a voice to a place that changes, protects and destroys people, through its existence in our lives.

Francesco Merlini – Valparaiso, Exhibition at Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), 2022, A smoke signal in this part of the world is unlikely. It is the cord hat joins the earth and sky like yolk and albumen or maybe it’s ust the contrail left by something that has abandoned the valley.

In my work, memories of the time spent in this valley are mixed with dreams, nightmares and visions that my mind has set in this familiar and at the same time distant place, drawing on a sort of magical realism.

Francesco Merlini – Valparaiso, Exhibition at Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), 2022, Only in the late adolescence I started hanging out with other youngsters who used to spend holidays in the valley. So far I had walked these paths exclusively with my parents, my first love, partners in a relationship that was about to end too soon.

In a time where people look at photographs faster and faster, I decided to use a photographic language that would induce the observer to linger, to move closer and to squint in order to get used to the darkness of these iridescent images that conceal a personal journey towards the reckoning with this valley.

Francesco Merlini – Valparaiso, Exhibition at Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), 2022, The lump in the throat is sharper, like a knife in a sack, ready to suddenly tear it apart. Her greenish and gray irises seem to pulsate, as chrysalises on the verge of opening up to reveal something wonderful but at the same time closer to death.

www.francescomerlini.com

 

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