tórbido agg. [lat. tŭrbĭdus, der. di turba «confusione, disordine»]. – 1. Di un liquido, privo di limpidità, di trasparenza, per avere in sospensione sostanze che ne diminuiscono l’originaria e naturale chiarezza.

Torbido, photographic project by Agostino M. Artese curated by Giovanna Pesce for B-r-o-d-o, stems from a previous project that focused on mass tourism in the city of Venice.
The opacity of mass tourism was metaphorically represented by grainy faces, obtained from clippings of previous photographs, which reflect the desire to address issues such as monotony and the disfigurement of the territory of which mass tourism is a generator.
In the light of the current health situation on a global level, the images of the previous work, linked to the past and other circumstances, become paradoxically tools to describe the present, the precise moment we are living. Reinterpreting these archive images, a second reflection is born: the images live a new contemporaneity bringing with them as many questions, becoming symbols and representations of current problems. In front of the faces that the photographs crystallize, a sort of prejudice unconsciously arises: the image is charged with meaning and stained with other interpretations based on the cultural context of reference of the observer and interpreter. Particular mental associations are thus created, especially in this historical moment, for which these faces tend to be associated with a territory that has been the point of spread of the pandemic.

In cinematic language the close-up is commonly used to focus on the subject, the person, and allow the viewer to get closer to the characters in the staging. In Torbido this photographic-linguistic expedient is taken to excess: the enlarged, grainy, almost dehumanized face becomes an unsettling element and pushes the viewer to question what he is really observing: the subject of the images is totally decontextualized, it becomes elusive, unknowable. Installing these images on the street, along the sidewalks and on the walls of urban spaces makes the vision even more precarious but, at the same time, the result of an intentional choice.
The images reveal themselves slowly, interrogating people's perceptual patterns: what does an Asian face make us think in this precise historical moment? People are cornered between fears and prejudices, transforming these unknowable faces into the mirror of their own unconscious.

SSSCH Festival
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