The No Carousel
One of the very first things that they teach you at school is the memory awareness: Discovery of the continuity between present and past works due to specific space and time coordinates acquisition, needed to understand the unfolding and the recreation of the events. Seize time in its moments of succession, duration , contemporaneity and cyclic nature is an important goal in the human development, meanwhile acknowledging the memory complexity, in which also the oblivion is included, it involves understanding that preservation is the result of selection, and of a choice.
In 2010 i spent three years at the Turin Cinema Film Archives, specifically in the film inspection and cataloguing department .The archive experience strictly imposed me a method of waiting, deceleration and discovery, an attitude of careful attention of the relationship between cancellation and preservation.
This work experience was the key to forming my current artistic research. I often take inspiration from the slow way of working in archival films, from the way of looking at the frames paying attention to their wounds. These aspects have become an obsession to the point of pushing me to build a collection consisting of vernacular analogue photographic material considered a waste because it is abandoned or simply unwanted. “The No Carousel” mainly consists of slides that i find in second hand shops or on the street, the abandonment and their possible damage represent the story of these images that become for me a fertility space. They are images that have the power and seduction of precious objects, of those treasures to be looked at closely, with attention and desire. Scrunching them carefully i go in search of who knows what detail and particularly perhaps a clue that can continue the story i imagined looking at the scene for the first time, a story that i find myself spying on in a sort of diary of images. So many questions arise while viewing these mysterious photographs, almost all unanswered. But how Mary Oliver will write “There are so many stories more beautiful than answers” (“Snake” in American Primitive, 1983).
“The No Carousel” is dedicated to what resists, what settles in spite of destruction and transformation, but despite my obsession with what i manage to keep, I am aware that the times of life determine the choice of what to keep and what to throw away.
In the same way in librarianship we speak of rejection or revision weed control or weeding when we want to carry out the operation that consists of selecting useless documents in a collection. The archivist is called upon to decide which documents have and will have value and which ones do not. In the moment of choice - and rejection, perhaps- the archivist, is alone, and inevitably follows subjective criteria.
The selection follows the evaluation, and it is the moment in which the final destination of each type of document is decided. It is a complex operation that must keep in mind the meaning of responsibility and the relationship with prudence and control.
The “No Carousel” slides tell about vulnerability, loss and drift, and are a part of my personal archive because they are the consequence of a choice made by someone who said no.
It is a fragile archive, precisely because its conversation is continually strained on the limit between denial and affirmation , between silence and narration, between keeping hidden and showing.
The fact remains that they are truly seductive images.
Vernacular slides personal archive