Name: Leonardo Magrelli
University: Sapienza University of Rome
The Meerror project shows what mirrors reflect when we are not in front of them. It consists in a series of photos taken facing a mirror, so we should see ourselves reflected in it, but we don’t, as if we were invisible. The result are real images, that exist in the world, but that we can never witness, for we are their own interference. In fact, we will never be able to observe directly what a mirror shows when we are not facing it, because every time we step in front of it, the image that was reflected a moment before is modified by our appearance. Only disappearing, we can observe reality without alterations.
Thus self-portrait and still life collide, creating images that are both the things and none at the same time. In fact, up to where is it legitimate to speak of portrait? Each one of these pictures premise it and is the result of the cancellation of a self-portrait. Yet is our very absence, an absence that turns these images into still lives, that triggers the mechanism of the picture.
Finally it is important to discus the legitimacy of manipulating the images. Even if his words do not refer to digital photography, on the matter I like to quote Todd Hido: “I shoot sort of like a documentarian but I print like a painter. All my stuff is shot with natural light on a tripod. Untouched, and unstaged […]. In the darkroom I’ll twist it all around in anyway I find that works, that still feels real to me.” Moreover, in this particular case, against the purists of analog photography, only through the digital manipulation of the image, we are able to see what nor our eyes neither the camera lens could.