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Shadows, as ‘Woland’ would have said



In a photographic discourse that for the most part focuses on the ambiguous but fruitful relationship between the reality of objects and people, and the ability to see it from different angles and thus modify it, a chapter devoted to shadows could not be missing.

The shadows cast by objects or our bodies are ambiguous by nature: immaterial silhouettes, but revealing a corporeity that interrupts the free flow of light.
They are dark, with all the accompanying symbols, but inextricably linked to a light source, which the more powerful it is, the more, by contrast, it makes them impenetrable.

The shadows of objects or people can be distorted, and then perhaps with their monstrous shapes they whisper thoughts or hidden meanings, hidden beneath the usual appearance; and only an oblique gaze can grasp this complex ambiguity.
Or the shadow may suggest, without being totally obvious, the presence of someone or something; or, on the other hand, its incorporeality may underline its absence.
And it can be a way of telling one’s story, of portraying oneself in the form of a shadow, with an implicit judgement on oneself and one’s attitudes, just to quote a master of photography such as Vivian Mayer and some of her self-portraits.

Autumn shadows: petrified forest. Gate n.5, Castelporziano, November 6th 2020.

In this series, rigorously in black and white, there are objects that cast shadows, which in turn modify their form, shadows cast by bodies and objects that become protagonists, dialogue with each other, are bartered, imply, I hope lightly, hidden meanings.

As Woland said to Levi Matteo on the roofs of Moscow (Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita, chapter 29): “You have already said something silly (…), you have pronounced your words as if you did not recognise the existence of shadows (…) and what would the earth look like if the shadows disappeared? The shadows come from men and things. (…) Do you want to flay the whole globe, taking away all the trees and all that is alive for your whim of enjoying the naked light?”

Hotel. Via Properzio, Rome, March 3rd 2021.
The photographer’s shadow at sunset: admiration and envy. Lungotevere Castello, Rome, November 4th 2020.
Expressionist noir atmosphere. Piazza Augusto Imperatore, Rome, October 9th 2020.
Bartered shadow. Lungotevere Castello, Rome, January 30th 2021.
The shadow of Dr Jekyll. Via Andrea Doria, Rome, January 13th 2022.
With the sun at your back. Via di Porta Angelica, Rome, December 16th 2021.
Conversation. Piazza Augusto Imperatore, Rome, February 3rd 2021.
Quote: Vivian Mayer style self-portrait. Via di Ripetta, Rome, April 8th 2021.
Triangles. Piazza Vidoni, Rome, June 26th 2020.
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Pietro Coppa

Nato e vissuto a Roma, fotografo per antica passione.

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