I’ve come back where I’ve never been.
Nothing, as it was not,
has changed, since.
What photography reproduces endlessly,
has occurred only once:
it repeats automatically what
will never be repeated naturally.
Even if in its autonomy Le petit, 2006 shapes up as a further stop of a wider series that finds its origin in Senza Titolo #1 and #2 of 2001 and its development in more recent works: Singer, Lina si sveglia…, Rewind and Rowenta, all based on the haunting recurrence of an image: the portrait of a young woman wearing a wedding dress.
The beginning is therefore a photograph, or more precisely, one photograph, always the same, which depending on its formats and expressions, serves as icon, mirror, model, dress, home, mask, eventually becoming a sort of pas-partout and substitutive signature.
The photograph, it is generally said, has the capability to stop time, to embalm a moment, a place, a look, has the power to restore what is absent, and at the same time, right for this embalming power, it has also the capability to tell us the death to future: “Dandomi il passato assoluto della posa… -scrive Roland Barthes- la fotografia mi dice la morte al futuro” (Giving me the absolute past of the pose… -writes Roland Barthes- the photograp tells me the death to future”).
As “emanation” of a “real past”, the photograph is therefore something to keep, to preserve but also, appalling task, something to re-animate.
As the angel of Walter Benjamin who aspires to redeem the past and to “recompose what was broken”, C.C. tries to restore a future to the has-been of an image, which explains the constant fluctuating of the artist between photography, video and performance.
Although expressed through different media, the research of C. C. finds in photography, meant as paradoxical and ambivalent pharmakon , his unavoidable barycentre and his generating model, a model which results effective even in videos (made up entirely of sequences of photographs in lap dissolve) and, even if implicitly, in live performances.
Thanks to its ineluctable documentary dimension, the photographic image, even when projected, does not duplicate time, but it suspends it, it breaks it, freezes it, ending up to exhibit what video hides: the naked truth of single images that succumb to flowing.
Something similar happens in Singer, a mute choreography of a dressing, where the body of the artist, driven by a sort of automatism, reedits and reiterates, “in an absolutely liturgical way” (Alfredo Sigolo), memorable gestures and events, within a ritual non-hierarchical and monotonic narration, in which the actions required to build the scene or to make the “dress” do not culminate in the act of dressing itself but tend to resolve in themselves and to become equal. Even here, therefore, prevails the dimension of subsequent tableaux that concur to suspend, rather then to create, a narration; here again an endless recapitulation of gestures, which were his mother’s ones, seem to be aimed at eroding the reality of the present, rescuing it from time.
The suspect arises, therefore, that more than working to reanimate an image, the artist moves towards the opposite direction, that is, he tends to transform himself in an image. This is indeed the sole dimension in which that undying split between “bidimensional e tridimensional”(Silvia Fanti), past and present, motion and immobility can be solved, split in which seems to reside the peculiar element of his research.
The photographic model, from which the artist takes distance just to constantly come back to it again, seems to be the only one to be adequate to this task: only the photograph, in fact, as expression of a “referent past” seems capable of portraying non only the past like the present but also the present like the past. Just in the photograph is in fact possible the double and combined presence of reality and past. Just in the photograph, as underlines Barthes, the image “of the disappeared being” comes to “touch me like the deferred rays of a star”.
from: spectrographies (notes for C.C.), by Saretto Cincinelli, 2006