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Napoli

Anders Petersen

L'Artière

Publication date : 2023/11/01
Weight 385 g / Dimensions 20 x 29 cm / 61 pages
ISBN 9791280978066

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“Speaking about her relationship with Naples, Lea Vergine once said that it was the only city that did not have a ghetto. Remarking “do you think a Neapolitan cares if you are Jewish or whatever?” This nonchalance for the other, by whom one wants to be looked at, yet always eluding the judgment, is what I find in Anders Petersen’s shots. A kind of continual escape, an ability to speak only through fragments. Yet everything can be found in these fragments: there is irony and sensuality, and a kind of ancient nobility, there is surrender to the artist’s eye, yes, but never completely. There is trust, though. Trust and defiance always walk these paths together, in what percentage is unknown: the subject sets them each time, or the photographer finds them in that sole possible motion that grounds a relationship, that is, the encounter.

These photographs are born in this undetermined space, pertaining more to the soul than to topography, at the crossroads between Petersen’s imagination and the hyperbolic reality he – or better, we – intersect. Thus, he renders it back to us in the only way it can be rendered. No one will ever know how to shape this chaos, but we can, through our observing eyes, both make it our own and be a part of it, knowing that it will mutate, escape us, betray itself, and that what we see will only be true in the instant it occurred. Never before have I been able to find, as I did in this work by a man so distant in origins from Mediterranean culture, the words used by Fabrizia Ramondino in her 1991 biography Star di casa: “Naples, where it is so difficult to live and so tempting to leave, which is so difficult to abandon and always compels one to return, becomes, more than any others, the emblematic place of the general human condition of our time: to find oneself on an uninhabitable planet and yet to know that this is the only one that for the time being we can call home.”

Valeria Parrella

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