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Nicola Buonomo

Title ︎︎︎ Serendipity
I am a 34-year-old Italian photographer. I live in Sicily. I have a degree in medicine and a specialization in child and adolescent neuropsychiatry. At the same time as studying medicine, I studied theatre and took part in several experimental theatre performances where the main purpose was to strive towards truth of form and emotion, rejecting any type of formal cliché. For some years, I have deepened the photographic art through a self-taught path and, subsequently, through an individual path with a professional photographer, who has allowed me to refine the technique but, above all, to understand the historical and cultural roots of the photographic image. Today, photography is for me a tool for understanding the "things" of the world and a pretext for restoring meaning to the apparent chaos of everyday life. I like images imbued with a certain degree of ambiguity, those that leave room for more interpretive possibilities (someone said: "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”). I prefer images that ask questions rather than give “certain" partial answers. Moving away from the figurative cliché, my research tends to conquer an aesthetic beauty but in the philosophical sense: the unveiling of the “true” through an image that requires the presence of a slow gaze, far from the noise of the stereotype of the figure, but close to the silence of "peripheral things".

This project, which I consider "an archive in progress", was born from the exploration of Sicilian peripheral spaces, located on the border between the countryside and the land undergoing development. These hybrid places, caught between the desire to return to the wild and the inevitable push for architectural-technological progress, represent for me fertile ground in which to attempt an understanding. In these "non-places", still not characterized by a defined identity, it becomes easier to trace the archetypes that are promoting changes in the landscape and, consequently, of the destiny of "civilized" man. "Serendipity" is the critical and emotional status with which I conducted my investigation: trying to keep pre-judgment at bay I let the images present themselves to my gaze, almost anonymously, keeping me at a critical distance from them that would allow me to "see them again". When this happened, their ambiguous power gave me back a strong sense of possibility: what previously appeared in contrast, disharmonious and implausible, slowly took shape in a "gestalt" that gave back meaning to space and things. Working on the "land" was a pretext to explore man: his presence is evoked by the solitude of the scenes in which objects, buildings, cracks become "footprints" of his passage and his desires. Working on the edge of land still without a clear identity was ultimately an authentic "experience" of places where things, still in an early stage, potentially contain every possibility but, above all, they appear to the eye simply for what they are.

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