Thème lié

On places’ imagery | Sull’immaginario dei luoghi


in Lo squaderno, Italie, 2010, N°16


The initial insight for this issue started from the recognition that there is a rhythm, or better a syncopation, or a dissonant tension between, on the one hand, the times of the material transformations tied to our way of dwelling in a world (the world) and, on the other, the working of desires, memories and representations that sustain our dwelling. In this sometimes dizzy suspension defined by such a syncopation – an ‘out of measure’ that is also a ‘counter-measure’ – we have sought the opportunity to raise a number of questions : first, on the function of social imagery as an expression of individual and collective gazes cast upon the places in which we dwell ; second, on the structuring potential of the imagery, that means its ability – or lack thereof – to influence time, foster transformation and express consensus ; third, on the complex relationship that keeps together, shapes and orders the harmonic and disharmonious chords generated by these different times, the frictions as well as unexpected synergies thereby produced. This initial concept has been interpreted differently by each contributor, which we thank for the wealth of ideas. Alessia de Biase has focused on the ‘meanwhile’ between the demolition of a high rise in the French banlieue and its envisaged future. Christian Arnoldi has delved into the intermittent rhythms that define the existential space of Alpine communities in and off the tourist season. Drawing on her ethnography of the Andes, Arianna Cecconi has explored how a continuity of experience across different worlds can ‘shape’ reality, while Fabio Fornasari has made a similar point about Second Life. More directly connected to the issue of dwelling and the desires that accompany it are the pieces by Cristina Mattiucci on the bassi houses in Naples and by Federico Zanfi on illegal house building in Italy over the last decades. The last two texts are by Giorgia Bongiorno and Piero Zanini, who approach landscape drawing on two episodes of an old tv programme in which, respectively, Andrea Zanotto and Pier Paolo Pasolini featured. In retrospect, how we can understand anew the initial image of the syncopation ? An aspect shared by all articles is a renewed attention for the temporal dimension and the role time assumes in our attempts to question and understand the meaning of our way of living the world – as well as the ways of the others. In other words, each text invites the reader to linger on what we could call the place of possible negotiation among different times, desires, worlds, degrees of reality – between presence and absence. The image, the landscape, the word, the body and the gaze are witnesses that reveal the co-presence of a multitude of times in the history’s linear beat, with its forward-looking and irreversible time where past and future are neatly divided (as the contemporary physics also teaches us). In the following articles we are rather put in front of a time that you conjugate as an irregular verb : now instant stretches, now wide and stationary lengths, now sudden accelerations, now the atemporality of a gesture and its archaic survival in the present. It is in this unresolved and irresolvable tension between time and space, where history and geography overlap, intertwine and sometimes even exchange places, that you can try to understand and discuss the value of social imagery as the key to interpret our living the world. The syncopation can be thus understood as a change in duration, sometimes a slow down, as if to give time to time. But in this syncopation it is also possible to give ourselves a time, the time to radically rethink possibilities, limitations and arrhythmias that belong to that double-time which make us : the external one and the real and internal one (our ‘inner measure’, as Carlo Levi called it), which do not necessarily coincide. The photographic research by Massimo Sordi, who accompanies us along this issue, is part of such an attempt to understand the syncopations of the imagery. Dreaming Bollywood is a journey from Punjab to Kerala which, starting from the everyday, takes us inside the world of Indian cinema and its unfathomable yet evident imagery. This is cinema telling of itself not only as a place for screening dreams and desires of the multitudes who attend daily cinemas in India, but also as part of a geographic and linguistic ever changing landscape, where the tradition and the time of myth, with the endless pantheon of deities that populate it, are constantly reconvened in everyday life in order to address the complex and contradictory issues of the present.


Guest artist : Massimo Sordi

Editorial / Editoriale Piero Zanini, Chiara Mattiucci

Alessia de Biase
Non è polvere sulla giacca / It is not dust on a jacket

Christian Arnoldi
Inadeguatezze alpine / Alps’ Unfitness

Arianna Cecconi
Todo qari urquqa kasqa : Tutte queste montagne sono uomini

Fabio Fornasari
Costruire e abitare le immagini

Cristina Mattiucci
Dietro le tendine. Immaginari e desideri nello spazio di una casa

Federico Zanfi
Implicito, visibile, possibile. Mutazioni dell’immaginario e ipotesi di futuro
per la città abusiva

Giorgia Bongiorno
Sincopi nella “mondiale tenerezza”. Su Andrea Zanzotto

Piero Zanini
Il tempo perturbante di uno sguardo / The uncanny time lapse of a gaze

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