Video & Photography by Marco Ferraris
Music by Jacopo Brollo
Edition by Ainara Pardal
The actors of La Isla present in the trailer are:
Gael, Sandia, Victor, Whaka, Kleo, Natasha, Olya, Cris, Bianca
Thanks a lot to all participants!
The island has always been an archetypal site in visual and literary culture, a place in which man is free to give life to new utopias of regeneration.
The island resonates with Shakespearean echoes: we get to it as new Prosperos pursuing a better version of the world we come from, hoping to recover a lost purity in the relationship between man and nature.
As he re-creates the world from scratch, however, man often loses control of nature itself.
Marco Ferraris’s La Isla is a project in progress, expanding from photography to video, from the dialogue between texts and images, to performance in a wider sense. Ferraris thus gives birth to a multimedia, complex artwork, acting as a sort of travel journal of his artistic research.
He keeps coming back to it, enriching it with new insights, time after time.
After all, even though the island is certainly a place of stasis, waves break on its shores from all sides. It is, furthermore, a place you can come back to after each journey, bringing something new back with you, each time. The photographic images in this series are structured in an extremely balanced way: they express a sense of stasis.
Despite the natural setting, the mise-en-scene prevails, expressing a tension between spontaneity and artificiality. Ferraris has been meditating on these aspects for a long time and has worked on them in Realfiction and in his Passaggi di Tempo, where passers-by are reproduced as clones in their movements and are called to interpret new versions of themselves.A tension between movement and stasis is the organising principle of some of the sets, as, for example, La Mujer Artemisia and Anemoi.
Although the female body is positioned at the centre, still and frozen by the camera, reminding other, more static images of La Isla, it seems to be about to expand outside the frame at the same time.
(...) The reference to sculpture is clear in the set Pietas 2012 - Acto 1-3, Fragmento de un evangelio apócrifo, in which the photographer stages a modern version of Michelangelo's Pietas: provocatively, Jesus is black, while his mother is a diaphanous, white and blonde girl.Furthermore, as if to counterbalance the stasis of the photographs, La Isla was recently expanded to video. The island comes to life, naked men and women climb, go up and down from a tree, uttering inarticulate verses, in a sort of Living Theatre-like performance, which, at the same time, evokes the monkeys’ primordial dance in Kubrick’s 2001 - A Space Odyssey.Moreover, movement is often crystallized in La Isla in the staging of symbolic scenes, drawn from the world of painting, rich in biblical, mythological or literary references.
(...)It is therefore a journey through a series of essential references in visual culture that the photographer revisits, enriching them with new ideas. The island is animated by the nymphs, by Ophelia, wrapped in light veils, by Eva, interpreted by two different female figures, with the same man at their side (women are, moreover, more dynamic and flexible than males in La Isla) or Venus, arising from a wooden wash tub – rather than from the ocean, as in Botticelli’s painting - in a sort of abandoned hut, one of the few traces of human civilization appearing in this photographic project (El Nacimiento de Tanit), thus creating a tension between natural and artificial.
(...)The island represents an open space we visit to find new meanings each time. Although we are aware – as Prospero is on his own island - that recreating an uncontaminated microcosm, away from the troubles of the world we come from, is often an illusion, we know that, as Borges writes in his Fragments from an Apocryphal Gospel (used as a comment on the images),“ Nothing is built on stone, everything on sand, but our duty is to build as if sand were stone (41)”.
Anna Viola Sborgi