The Lower World
The asylum is in reality the representation of human madness, stripped of its disguise… naked or covered with tatters…the fools play out their parallel lives in the underworld…a grotesque allegory of the collective rituals of men that tread on the upper stage….that of visibility and normalcy…that for Goya does not escape the twisted logic of madness…and does not escape the blindness of those who are not masters of their destiny…
Rodolfo Maffeis (an introduction to the painting Casa de Locos, Goya)
Madness is a topic that has no beginning and no end; something that cannot be defined. It is probably a shadowy interpretation, an allegory of the luminous world. Perhaps it represents our distorted reflection, where gestures seem to repeat themselves, and come to resonate one other, becoming visual echoes from which appearances emanate.
Photography finds views from hundreds of different angles, helping us to understand our worlds from different perspectives, in its various stratifications. We explore the existence of others and wonder how we are connected to each other.
We see the rectangular limitation of a photographic frame allowing for expansion on the horizontal plane, and darkness becomes a limitless recess: a tonal figuring of the unknown.
Distinct characters, rather than a chorus of condemned ‘stereotypes’ interrogate the lens; inmates are individuals asking and responding to questions.
I began my photographic journey into the dimension of human alienation within the context of mental illness in 2001, with several visits to the last six functioning criminal lunatic asylums in Italy. It is an ongoing project...