The “Still Live” photographs” are a manifesto of slowness, of the pleasure of observation and of reclaiming the time to reflect.
Giangiacomo Rocco di Torrepadula takes an ordinary object from his household, one that is seemingly no longer useful because it is old, broken or has only been kept for its sentimental value. He positions it and takes his monorail camera. Before shooting, he studies the object calmly, engaging in an intimate dialogue with it until he finds a view that brings it back to life.
It is hard to get it right the first time around. All the various attempts are measured, calculated, slow. Speed does not belong to the monorail camera. Each attempt is well thought out, then developed in a darkroom and scanned using a special technique to bring out the image. It can take several days to get the right result. But these are days that enjoy the slow rediscovery of a past that you somehow reappropriate.
Here, we are a long way away from the execution speed typical of digital and even further away from the frenetic exploitation of images on social media. The result is an image that erupts with its wealth of detail, which is especially explosive when printed in large format. The object becomes seductive, often turning into something else entirely, which may not be immediately intelligible. Perspective, details, and lighting all stimulate the observer to actively participate in this new vision.
Far from being a nostalgic interpretation, the work leads the viewer to investigate the form, to pause, to observe the details, to get lost in the blurriness, and in so doing, to take back ownership of their time in a gesture of profound observation.
In this hectic, fast-paced world, nothing ever stops making sense and everything can come back to life in very different ways. Everything can be still live, if only we know how to stop long enough to look and imagine.