How far do we look? If we consider that each object emits light rays that strike our eye, the horizon line is nothing more than a visual perception of a physical limit that moves as we approach, therefore conceptually one can say that the eyes see the in-finite if we look beyond the horizon not being able to discern a limit/object that bounces one’s light. From the physiological-optical point of view, perception is a reconstructive simulation generated by the brain of the interactions between us and the material environment that surrounds us, based on our previous knowledge and experience: What is perceived is different from the external object it represents. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (PNL) says: the map is not the territory and each of us builds different maps of the same territory and also different maps from moment to moment, according to our level of attention, to our needs, our motivations. In the same way, Marco Tagliafico, in his being a real photographer, develops his imaginary wormhole linked to cosmic space, to the contemplation of the uncertain through which he makes us pass, creating worlds other than those of departure that he photographed. The work itself is designed to alter the perception of what is real and what is not seen.

He prints with the analog process, with subsequent intervention in pencil and graphite that applies to the photographs, disinterested in defining geolocation of his landscapes or to give a space-time dimension to the subjects. This alters the specificity of the photographic medium, leaving the viewer the task of completing the image with his vision, his time and his experience. Each shot thus results as a process divided into several phases, where time and place pass in the background in the name of freedom of reciprocal vision, between author and viewer, in which the labile boundary between reality and its representation plays continuously.

Imago in Latin means vision, semblance, ghost, specter

What he portrays is not reality, therefore, but a (his) vision of reality, on which he intervenes, altering it completely, distorting its meaning. The vision itself and the choice of what to photograph already alters reality as it is and makes the photographer an author and a demiurge of his world, filtered by his eye, his feeling, and his seeing. A putting the world into the world, which takes us into that sort of wormhole that shows us a parallel universe. His universe. Near yet very far, in a mental dimension suspended in time. “In this sense photography manifests all its exteriority, but also its mysterious, impenetrable, unrevealed interiority” as Roland Barthes says in “La Camera Chiara”, 1980. How many possible readings and visions are there in front of an image of reality? Photography itself is not reality, but a part of it. What a photograph does not say is what stays before and what stays after the shot that we see, it's a partial visual window of reality. The birth of photography has revolutionized the world, its representation and the very concept of information: a photograph is a thin slice of time and space.

Thus, the artist moves the line of the horizon ever further, imagining an infinite space where our gaze is lost. As we look beyond the mirror, unaware ourselves of where we can arrive by contemplating the uncertain, the unthinkable that is constantly above us. That universe that Tagliafico shows us, with stratification of fragments of suspended time in which he lets the interpretation wander “…at the crown of an infinite cone”, as he mentions.


“I close my eyes and I see stars, deep stars giving way to deeper stars bowing to deepest stars at the crown of an infinite cone." -  Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)


Text by Claudio Composti



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