Giulia Parlato


Diachronicles, Witty Books. Something Lost, Something Gained. Written by David Campany

Let us imagine Giulia Parlato’s recent photographic series Diachronicles is acquired by an important museum of art and archaeology for its permanent collection. A set of prints, editioned and signed, is proposed by a curator to the museum’s acquisitions committee. At a meeting of the committee, a thorough discussion takes place as to the merits of the photographs and how they might benefit the museum and its audience, both now and in the future. The committee votes, and acquisition is approved, although there are differences of opinion as to how the images should be classified and the context in which the museum might display them. This will be decided later. Funds are found and allocated for the acquisition. Parlato prepares a portfolio which is delivered to the museum’s registrar. The prints are carefully unpacked and photographed, and the digital image files are uploaded to the museum’s online database along with important information including titles, dimensions, descriptions of materials, a long list search keywords, and accession numbers. A place is found for the portfolio in the atmospherically controlled facility that houses the museum’s permanent collection. Its future is reasonably secure, although its meaning remains less so.

Years later, the museum loses its database when it is attacked by an unknown virus. After much delay, the arduous process of re-cataloguing the entire collection begins. Giulia Parlato’s Diachronicles becomes a troubling point of uncertainty and consternation for the curatorial team. What is this set of images? An artist’s project? A collection of disparate documents of museum displays and archaeological digs? Instructional photographs for some kind of museum training manual? Is it a fiction? An allegory? A work of criticism? Thinking positively, the curators turn the mystery into the new significance of Diachronicles. The portfolio will be displayed as an enigma, inviting visitors to speculate as to its meaning and the possible reasons why the museum acquired it. Visitors will be encouraged to reflect upon the purpose and function of the photographs and, by extension, upon the function and purpose of the museum itself. Some curators suggest simply displaying the images with no text or captions; not even an author’s name. Others feel the museum ought to introduce the works with a text, indicating different ways visitors might wish to consider them.

In the grander scheme of things, it seems museums had only a very brief period in which their methods were not in question, and rightly so. Today one has only to hear the word ‘museum’ and the string of associations moves rapidly from ‘history’, ‘archives’, ‘facts’ and ‘artifacts’… to ‘stories’, ‘fictions’, ‘empire’, ‘power’, ‘exclusion’ and even ‘theft’ and ‘repatriation’. Museums seem to survive and find new purpose not by repressing this situation but by embracing and addressing it. The good museum is the museum that reflects publicly upon its own presumptions and is open to revision.

In 1974, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) issued this statement:

A museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of the society and its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of man and his environment. 

In 2022, after a period of deep soul-searching, self-questioning, and eighteen months of participatory consultation, ICOM revised its statement:

A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.

Despite the attempts at clarity, the function of such a statement is left deliberately open. It could be a description of what museums actually are and do, or it could be a prescription – aims, goals, practices, programmes and behaviours for museums to aspire to. Either way, the update points to a shift, real and desired, towards transparency and accountability to potential audiences, or communities. And between the lines, one might sense a change of emphasis from museums being for ‘anyone’ to museums needing to be for ‘everyone’.

In this new situation for museums, the photographic image is mobilised in many different ways. Its presumed accessibility or even democracy makes it unintimidating and ‘user friendly’.  Photos appear as parts of explanatory display panels. They are exhibited as documents imparting information. And the public is invited to make and contribute their own photos in the newly embracing and participatory museum culture. All these types and uses of photographs are retained and archived by the museums. But if the databases collapsed, the images would not be able to speak for themselves.  For all their use and functionality, they would be returned to the essential condition of the photograph, which is ambiguous and enigmatic, suggestive and associative.

In the light of all this, the images that comprise Giulia Parlato’s Diachronicles seem exemplary. They adopt and adapt the photographic rhetoric of use and function but they withhold any ultimate commitment to meaning or significance. Even if the artist were to declare her intentions, which in the lazy way of contemporary culture might become the preferred script for looking and interpreting, the uncertainties would remain. Indeed, it is almost as if the more straightforward the imagery seems, the less straightforward it really is. This is not a new revelation. In 1844 William Henry Fox Talbot wrote in The Pencil of Nature of the way even the plainest and most descriptive kind of photograph cannot secure its own meaning. It would be ‘evidence of a novel kind’, as he put it, to be fought over by lawyers and other interested parties. In the 1920s the Surrealists appropriated Eugène Atget’s photographs of old Paris for their own experimental journals, bringing out their latent poetic strangeness. In 1977, the American artists Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan published Evidence, a book of photos they had found in various scientific and industrial archives, now presented without their original captions and contexts. Function fell away, leaving aesthetically charged visual mysteries, full opaque rituals, and questions without answers. Parlato’s Diachronicles certainly bears a relation to these examples, and it would not come as a surprise if in some way they had helped to form her own approach. Nevertheless, one need not know much about photography’s complex history to make complex photographs. They can emerge simply from thinking about the medium and the expectations that culture seems to want to make of it.

So, to return to the speculation with which I began, you may recall that the imaginary museum that acquired the Diachronicles portfolio did so without knowing exactly what it wanted to do with it. That was the appeal of the work for an institution coming to terms with its own presumptions and revised practices. Eventually, the museum did not make up its mind but turned over to its audience the question of what exactly these images might be, or could be. This, it seems to me, would be the ideal context for Diachronicles. And it would not require the catastrophic loss of a database to make it happen. 

Triennale magazine. Le fotografie che hanno vinto il Premio Luigi Ghirri 2022. Written by Riccardo Conti

Dalla fotografia come medium per documentare la Storia a mezzo per costruire interpretazioni di archeologie possibili, forse fantastiche ma comunque capaci di innescare riflessioni sul concetto di realtà. Le opere di Giulia Parlato in mostra fino al 26 marzo 2023 mettono alla prova la nostra fragile percezione davanti all’immagine. Nel febbraio 1927 Aby Warburg intraprese quel progetto che non vide mai una conclusione e che ancora oggi rappresenta il suo lascito più famoso: il Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. L’atlante d’immagini che lo studioso concepì nel corso di due anni e mezzo nasceva come uno strumento del tutto peculiare per illustrare la sintesi delle proprie ricerche attorno ai temi iconografici e iconologici condotti lungo un’intera vita. Il Bilderatlas, ispirato alla divinità della memoria, consisteva in una serie in divenire di pannelli di legno, ricoperti di tela di juta nera, sui quali Warburg appuntava gruppi di immagini, attingendo da ciò che al tempo si iniziava a configurare come la massa iconografica  generata dalla riproduzione tecnica: fotografie, certamente, alcune scattate da Warburg stesso e che costituirono per molto tempo l’archivio personale dello storico dell’arte, ma anche, e soprattutto, riproduzioni a buon mercato e altri reperti visivi come cartoline, immagini pubblicitarie, ritagli di giornali, fino a quel momento non ammissibili scientificamente nel repertorio dello studioso. Eppure, tale approccio sul come avvicinare le forme prodotte nella storia dell’arte e delle cose, procedendo per intuizioni più che con strumenti storiografici, permise di guardare con occhi nuovi la Storia, ovvero a ciò che il tempo lascia tramite un processo di analogie od omologie tematiche o formali. Oggi, senza saperlo, milioni di user utilizzano – con risultati impari – l’esercizio del Bilderatlasattraverso la collezione di un’infinita serie d’immagini postate sui vari social network e sui principali collettori di fonti visive, partecipando quotidianamente a quell’inquinamento dell’iconosfera che caratterizza il nostro ambiente digitale. È possibile provare a rintracciare, al di sotto di tale ammasso di stimoli retinici, un certo valore proprio, intrinseco, del medium fotografico in questo contesto? Il lavoro di artiste come Giulia Parlato sembra proprio raccogliere tale sfida lavorando con estrema attenzione sui principi della fotografia e sul suo valore documentale. Nella mostra Diachronicles, curata da Ilaria Campioli e Daniele De Luigi, l’artista mostra la serie completa di lavori che le hanno valso il Premio Luigi Ghirri nel 2022. Nelle grandi fotografie in bianco e nero, allestite negli spazi di Triennale, emerge l’analisi di reperti e semplici frammenti ai quali attribuiamo istintivamente una certa importanza anche quando, apparentemente, poco o nulla ci viene mostrato, eppure quei residui affiorano come lettere di un alfabeto perduto utili a decifrare un messaggio sepolto nel tempo. Il progetto, ispirato da una visita di Parlato proprio al Warburg Institute di Londra, evidenzia il modo in cui gli oggetti e le loro immagini, nel corso della Storia, siano sottoposti a molteplici letture ed errori di interpretazioni, manifestando la frustrante condizione dello studioso che non potrà mai conoscere fino in fondo quel brano di passato che vorrebbe ricostruire. Le grandi immagini che costituiscono la serie Diachronicles descrivono spazi di assenza: vetrine museali svuotate, casse di legno e altri strumenti abbandonati nei pressi di siti archeologici non meglio precisati. L’osservatore lecitamente è portato a domandarsi a quali imprese, a quali raccolte museali gli scatti alludano, riconoscendo in essi una certa familiarità; nello scorcio di un diorama zoologico, simile a molti dei quali si incontrano nelle collezioni scientifiche in tutto il  mondo, permane comunque il dubbio di trovarsi di fronte a una mera simulazione, a un set realizzato appositamente per custodire il museo del nostro immaginario. Parlato, con la macchina fotografica, lavora come un’investigatrice sulla scena del delitto, trattando quei reperti fotografici come delle evidences; termine che, se nel linguaggio anglosassone descrive la “prova” in senso anche giuridico, conserva nell’etimologia la proprietà di “rendere evidente”, di “evidenziare” ciò che merita di essere notato.L’artista, nei 37 scatti di vario formato e nel video the Discovery (realizzato in collaborazione con il regista Claudio Giordano) guida l’osservatore in un’affascinante archeologia del possibile, dove la scena reale si mostra nei veri reperti che, a loro volta, si manifestano come props all’interno di un articolato progetto di staging. Lungi dal voler depistare il visitatore, Parlato vuole renderlo partecipe di quanto ciascuna immagine, anche quelle che si presentano come sfacciatamente “reali” siano sempre il frutto di una scelta, di un punto di vista e, in fondo, di un processo di editing. Grandi autori contemporanei, come ad esempio l’artista canadese Jeff Wall, hanno anticipato tali tematiche costruendo dettagliatissime narrazioni, così come fotografi del reale quali Ziyah Gafic con i suoi reportage o acuti osservatori come Joan Fontcuberta hanno messo in questione  la verità della fotografia. Proprio il fotografo e teorico spagnolo Fontcuberta ebbe a notare: “In un certo senso, un artista non è molto diverso da un insegnante, perché con i suoi scatti, un fotografo cerca di trasmettere una conoscenza del mondo e, con lo spirito di un insegnante, si adopera per far capire al pubblico le sue immagini. Sono dimensioni simili che trattano materie diverse. Per quanto mi riguarda, l'obiettivo che mi sono posto con il mio progetto come artista, è insegnare al pubblico o comunque indurlo a reagire in modo critico alla verità proposta da una fotografia. Per questo motivo, probabilmente, il mio lavoro non ha solo una dimensione pedagogica, ma anche una valenza di profilassi, nel senso che vuole liberarsi dal peso della falsificazione, della manipolazione, della narrazione fittizia che in una certa misura grava sulle immagini fotografiche.”Diachronicles di Parlato muove da simili considerazioni sul ruolo e la responsabilità del fotografo, affrontando la Storia attraverso una prospettiva dinamica ed evolutiva, diacronica, appunto. Una Storia che chiede continuamente di essere scandagliata nelle sue falsificazioni, rimozioni e oggetti che al di fuori della loro simulazione fotografica sono per sempre smarriti.

PhMuseum. Of Columns And Lizards, Vitrines And Stones: The Shimmering Pasts Of Giulia Parlato’s Diachronicles. Written by Camilla Marrese

Currently on show at Triennale Milano as the winner of Luigi Ghirri 2022 Prize, Diachronicles is Witty Books’ sublime start of the year, too. Designed by Nicolas Polli, and with an introduction text signed by David Campany, Giulia Parlato’s first photobook plays with the idea of the document as a container for unstable truths, visions to decode, disappearances and astonishing wonder. Diachronicles is a circle, starting and ending with flashes of light over the soil. In the first, light-paper pages, frames from a video show an alleged archaeological excavation. Taking place in total darkness the scene is intermittently lit: tools and blocks of earthly matter become suddenly readable, just to disappear into the shadows again. 

Then pages get thicker, and Giulia Parlato’s series of photographs begins. The story it tells is one of weird rituals, and gestures performing truth. It’s a story about memory and distortion, as in the twisted column illustration making the book’s cover: a serpentine that pulls the past’s edges, flowing around them, and making them less stable.

What are the objects we see in these images? Are they findings from the excavation we just witnessed? Six hands touch a completely covered object. A bucket flickers with light in the midst of a field. As the artist describes to me on the phone, "Photographs in the sequence flow like in waves: we are in a basement underground, and find a stair. We come up, a bird looks at a sort of cardboard-made horizon, then a ceiling opens up, as if we could enter it somehow". It’s continuous ascent, to then go back down again under meters and meters of soil. 

What was long buried underneath can now only whisper in its own peculiar language. Drenched in ambiguity, it will always avoid truths, resisting attempts at finding stable meanings. Parlato’s images inhabit this fragile terrain between solid, scientific-like photography and the mythological, mysterious nature of unspeakable matter. Key to the photographs' silence is a lack of captions: "You must ask yourself some questions", Parlato says."Are these archival images? Are these historical fakes, or are they 3D renders? Is there a staged element to this image, or is there not?". One could go on: Where are we, exactly? Which discovery are we looking at? Is this a series of proofs, or is this just a dream?

David Campany’s introductive text plays along these absences, making the choice that suits Parlato’s work best - he tells a story. He imagines an art and archaeology museum would acquire the series Diachronicles, and diligently upload all its details and material on an online database. The database would, then, face an unknown virus attack. As Parlato’s work loses any reference around it, uncertainty and mystery become its new meaning: an enigma for speculation, opening up questions about what a museum could and might be. 

In a way, Campany’s words make Diachronicles equivalent to the artifacts reproduced in its photographs: this book is then just another document, floating between truth and fake, history and myth. What allows for this to happen - for things to be turned into museum artifacts, for meanings to be carried through time, for material and conceptual disgregation to be averted - are the protecting and displaying structures. The wood axes of a storage closet. The glass walls of a cabinet. The ropes around a marble column. The spine and binding of a book. The white space around a photograph on the page. Is this another meaning to be found in Parlato’s series, starting and ending with photographs of artifacts completely covered, hidden under heavy tissue? Not only the mystery these structures evoke, but also the key, operational role they play.

“A layer Campany’s introduction unveils”, Parlato adds, “is the ironical side of the work. At a first glance, my images are all but humorous. But as you better go into them, you can start sensing how absurd the things they picture sometimes are - historical falses sold to extremely famous museums as real, sculptures I made myself, the cast of a colleague’s big toe masqued as a finding”. 

Closing the loop, we find the video frames on lighter paper once again. “We start digging and finish digging”, Parlato says. “The discovery begins, and ends, in the mud”. Last, an unbound folded sheet of paper falls off the pages. It’s Matthew Rhys Thompson’s short story The Boy, coming with the photobook's Special Edition. Between the lines of this tale of discovery, Diachronicles' imaginative power emerges. A story of columns and lizards, of matter and marvel, of vitrines and stones. A story of marble feet and gloved hands, boxes and holes, dust, and never answered questions. A story of things, and of all the possible, shimmering values one can attach to them, as post-its on a cave’s rocky wall.

Internazionale. Cronache dell'incertezza. Written by Giovanna D'Ascenzi

Andiamo nei musei o visitiamo un’area archeologica per aggiungere pezzi di storia alla nostra conoscenza del passato e guardiamo a queste opere come a testimonianze su cui fare affidamento. Ma la storia dell’arte, e non solo, è costellata da vari momenti in cui questo racconto, considerato in genere come lineare e verosimile, viene interrotto da cortocircuiti innescati da falsificazioni, vuoti e sparizioni. 

Da qui parte Giulia Parlato, fotografa palermitana e residente a Londra, che con il progetto Diachronicles ha vinto l’ultima edizione del premio Luigi Ghirri, un riconoscimento che dal 2018 finanzia e promuove la ricerca degli artisti italiani under 35. 

E l’idea nasce proprio a Londra, al Warburg institute, fondato dal critico e storico dell’arte Aby Warburg, morto nel 1929, che nei suoi studi sull’iconografia aveva sviluppato un approccio che non si limitasse alla semplice analisi formale di un’opera ma la mettesse in relazione con la società in cui è prodotta e con la nostra memoria collettiva. Al Warburg, Parlato ha dato inizio a una ricerca sulle immagini di falsi storici e sui limiti della divulgazione del passato. 

Il progetto parte dal museo archeologico Antonio Salinas di Palermo, dove sono conservati ed esposti i pupazzi di Mastressa, un gruppo di cento sculture che nella seconda metà dell’ottocento furono trovate nei terreni di un contadino siciliano, Gaetano Moschella, certificate nella loro autenticità dall’archeologo Francesco Saverio Cavallari e quindi vendute a diverse collezioni pubbliche e private, come quella del British museum. Dopo la scoperta della truffa, il museo Salinas le ha tenute nei suoi magazzini e successivamente gli ha dato una nuova vita nella collezione come testimonianza di un racconto ingannevole. 

Parlato ha cominciato a riflettere anche su quanto la fotografia stessa sia soggettiva per vocazione e riesca a raccontare solo un punto di vista, pur plasmando il nostro immaginario. Ampliando la ricerca ad altre raccolte, tra cui il British museum e altre collezioni, l’autrice sceglie un bianco e nero che fa riferimento alla fotografia forense e archeologica, per dare vita a un archivio immaginario in cui le opere e gli spazi che le contengono fanno parte di un enigma, un gioco messo in atto per mettere in discussione i preconcetti visivi che abbiamo metabolizzato nel corso del tempo. “Diachronicles racconta come una storia che sembra familiare in realtà sia inaccessibile perché il passato è di per sé uno spazio inaccessibile”, afferma la fotografa. 

Il progetto prende quindi vita nell’assenza, ribadita nel suo formato libro, appena pubblicato da Witty Books e accompagnato da un testo di David Campany, in cui il lettore non può contare su didascalie esplicative ma può farsi trasportare dalla possibilità di nuove interpretazioni e collegamenti in questo archivio dell’incertezza.

La Repubblica. Giulia Parlato tra Londra e la Sicilia scatti sui falsi reperti del Passato. Written by Nicola Baroni. Solo Show at Triennale Milano.

Fotografie di falsi reperti del passato, scene di scavi archeologici costruite ad arte, oggetti di dubbia provenienza inseriti in una narrazione storica. L'idea della serie "Diachronicles", con cui Giulia Parlato ha vinto il Premio Luigi Ghirri 2022 per la Giovane Fotografia Italiana, in mostra alla Triennale da oggi al 26 marzo (ingresso libero), è nata visitando il Warburg Institute di Londra. «Ero andata a studiare l'archivio fotografico e mi sono imbattuta in alcune fotografie che sul retro riportavano la scritta "fake?". Non si sa cioè se gli oggetti immortalati siano falsi storici o meno. Da lì sono partita per un percorso legato ai falsi che si è svolto sopratutto in Sicilia e in alcuni musei britannici», racconta. Classe 1993, Parlato da sempre lavora sull'uso delle immagini come documento di verità, in particolare in ambito scientifico e forense. In questo caso la cornice è quella della Storia: «Alcuni oggetti entrano a far parte di una narrazione storica e per questo assumono tutta una serie di significati e valori. Poi si scopre che sono dei falsi e perdono ogni valore. Questi oggetti, oltre a muoversi nello spazio, entrano ed escono nella cornice della narrazione storica ufficiale». Come è stato per esempio per i falsi di Mastressa, fotografati al Museo Salinas. Nel 1867 il famoso archeologo siciliano Francesco Cavallari si era imbattuto in quella che sembrava una scoperta di enorme importanza: tombe contenenti un ricco corredo funerario di un popolo precedente ai tempi della Magna Grecia. In particolare stupivano alcune sculture che era difficile ricondurre a uno stile noto: per forza, a realizzarle era stato il contadino Gaetano Moschella. Cavallari riuscì a venderle all'Istituto Gemranico di Roma, al British Museum  di Londra e al Museo Salinas. A questi scatti si associano le fotografie d'archivio e ai raggi x di altri falsi provenienti da British Museum e National Gallery. Alcune immagini provengono dalla campagna di scavo di Terravecchia, nell'entroterra siciliano: in questo caso i reperti sono autentici ma Parlato ha chiesto agli archeologi di comporre delle scene, studiando la posizione delle ombre e riposizionando le ossa del ritrovamento. Qui è la fotografia che da apparente mezzo di documentazione oggettiva si fa strumento di racconto ingannevole. A ricordarci che ogni sguardo sul passato è già una sua interpretazione.

Il Giornale dell'Arte. Non c'è una Storia oggettiva. Written by Ada Masoero. 

Dal 10 febbraio al 26 marzo la Triennale presenta il progetto «Diachronicles» con cui Giulia Parlato (Palermo, 1993, vive tra Londra e la sua città) ha vinto il Premio Giovane Fotografia Italiana | Luigi Ghirri 2022, promosso dal Comune di Reggio Emilia con Triennale Milano e Gai.
Molte immagini esposte s’intitolano «Evidence», parola inglese con cui si indica la «prova» in campo forense: fotografie immerse in un tempo sospeso da cui emergono frammenti del passato che offrono molteplici spunti su cui riflettere per tentare di decifrarne il significato. Tocca all’osservatore ricomporre gli indizi, deliberatamente confusi, forniti dall’artista, mimando la ricerca condotta dagli studiosi (specialmente archeologi) per significare oggetti all’apparenza privi di significato.
Al centro del suo lavoro ci sono, spiegava Parlato in una recente intervista, «l’assenza di memoria e le problematiche di una ricostruzione, per così dire, oggettiva della storia». Il fantastico, al contrario, s’insinua dalle «crepe» lasciate volutamente aperte dall’artista, che non a caso s’impossessa talora di reperti tratti dai depositi dei musei, contraffatti o tanto frammentari da essere inconoscibili, e su essi costruisce una storia verosimile (ma non necessariamente vera).
La personale nella Triennale rende evidente la natura di questa ricerca, che investe gli statuti stessi del medium fotografico (oltre che dei musei e della storiografia) e mette in crisi il ruolo storico della fotografia come documento di verità.

Diachronicles, solo show at Triennale. Introduction text. Written by Ilaria Campioli and Daniele De Luigi

With Diachronicles, the winning project of the 2022 edition of Young Italian Photography | Premio Luigi Ghirri, Giulia Parlato dwells on the impossibility of thoroughly knowing the past, highlighting how objects can be protagonists of multiple narratives over time, through their representation as images.

The work stemmed from a visit at the Warburg Institute in London and is made of 37 photos depicting works of art, sites of cultural interest, authentic artifacts and fakes, and it reflects on the capacity of material culture to shape our past. By investigating various controversies and episodes of falsifications with a documentary and forensic style, Giulia Parlato shows the fragility of the elements that make up our knowledge and cultural identity, impossible to fully unravel. The exhibition is accompanied by the video The Discovery, made in collaboration with director Claudio Giordano, focused on the documentation of an alleged archaeological excavation, somewhere between the real and the verisimilar. 

The photographic project is being exhibited at Triennale for the first time in its complete form.

La Repubblica. La memoria tra verità e finzione. Written by Olga Gambari. Solo Show at Mucho Mas!

Il tempo è un enorme campo archeologico. Con la relatività di tempo e spazio, il Novecento ha ufficializzato scientificamente ciò che l'umanità ha sempre saputo e "sentito": le dimensioni parallele in cui viviamo, muovendoci tra realtà diverse che rendono l'esistenza una condizione fatta di spicchi, specchi e veli, mescolano passato, presente e futuro. Giulia Parlato si pone sul paesaggio di questa visione con il binomio vero/falso. La sua terra d'origine, la Sicilia, è un enorme ipertesto della civiltà, uno scrigno di memorie, reperti, stratificazioni di cultura alta e bassa, dalle opere d'arte agli oggetti di uso quotidiano realizzati da persone vissute millenni or sono. Essi vivono, dentro di noi, impastati nel nostro Dna, dentro a tutto ciò che è la nostra cultura, dai testi alla lingua, e in ciò che a volte sono miraggi, visioni, appercezioni di qualcosa che potrebbe essere e forse è stato. O sarà. Sono le radici profonde dell'individuo, che afferiscono a un inconscio archetipico, una pre-conoscenza, ma anche a un'immaginazione che si autoproouce per suggestione, per magia. Da Mucho Mas!, in collaborazione con Camera, nell'ambito del progetto Futures Photography 2021, l'artista presenta"Diachronicles", un ragionamento sulla memoria come narrazione tra verità e finzione, legata al luogo del museo, al ruolo dell'archeologia e della fotografia come strumento potente, sempre in bilico tra soggettività e oggettività (l'eterno bordo poroso della sua identità). Parlato crea un'istallazione di reperti, teche trasformate in light box, che evocano rayografie manreiane, con tracce di oggetti, loro riproduzioni fantasmatiche. Poi fotografie legate a un sito archeologico siciliano, allo stupendo Museo Salinas di Palermo e a statue per anni considerate originali e poi scoperte come copie, ora giacenti negli archivi. E un video, dove delle mani scavano la terra, ritrovando, riportando alla luce frammenti di storia tutta da ricostruire. La riflessione è sulla Storia collettiva, come creazione ambigua. Se sia meglio non averla, in assenza di dati certi, o sia meglio averla comunque, anche se frutto di un progetto di edificazione. E in questo, l'opera d'arte ne è metafora perfetta. C'è un valore immaginifico in questa mostra, che avvolge come un ambiente, oltre a un quesito metodologico ed etico.

British Journal of Photography. Diachronicles by Giulia Parlato. Written by Flossie Skelton.

Joint runner-up for the BJP International Photography Award 2020, Giulia Parlato creates a forged archive of historical artefacts to question our understanding of the past

Can we ever truly know what happened in the past? It’s a question at the heart of Giulia Parlato’s Diachronicles, in which the Italian photographer appropriates the visual language of historiography to highlight its fragility in pertaining to fact. “History was written, for the most part, by people who won wars,” says Parlato. “This means we have a very narrow view on what’s actually taken place.”

Principally, Diachronicles is influenced by modern archeological studies, forensic crime scene photography and the museum space — imagery and practices that attempt to ‘reconstruct’ the past from scattered clues. The work appears to present an archive of historical artefacts, sites and dioramas. In reality, it’s all artificially staged in London-based studios and on location in Sicily, or taken from museum forgery collections. The project is a fiction: “a forgery in itself.” The idea for Diachronicles was conceived when Parlato visited The Warburg Institute in London. Here, she browsed the photographic archive of counterfeit works that had been sold to cultural institutions around the world: once such instances of fraud had been discovered, and each artefact’s value instantly diminished, the objects were promptly stored away from public view. It begs the question, how can something hold a deep historical significance at one time, and then lose it entirely a moment later? How can ‘truth’ be subject to change?

With this in mind, Diachronicles seeks to expose the limitations inherent to second-hand accounts of history. In the series, gloved hands unearth, containers transport, and utensils measure. Accordingly, viewers are implored to search for meaning: a reflection of the human pursuit of knowledge, and the arbitrary value we assign to inanimate objects; the neat and linear narratives we construct from obscure fragments. Diachronicles’ reality, however, is much more frustrating. 

“Ultimately, it’s impossible to tell a finalised account of the past,” says Parlato. “Every image is constructed in a way that makes you look for factual information. In the end, you’re left without any. The facts are missing.”

Source Magazine. Diachronicles Review. Written by Michael Mack.

Photography is implicit in the writing of histories, and this smart conceptual project uses the medium to explore the role of archeology and the museum in the control of historical narratives. The installation views suggest a complex interweaving of astute and incisive images to produce a complex collage impression of the themes.

Fisheye Magazine. « Diachronicles », l'histoire et le simulacre. Written by Julien Hory.

Présentée à Paris Photo à l’occasion de la Carte blanche – Étudiants 2019, l’artiste sicilienne Giulia Parlato questionne notre rapport à la vérité. Sa série Diachroniles propose une mise en perspective de la photographie comme document irréfutable.

« Je suis fascinée par la dimension historique de l’image en tant que détentrice de la vérité. Mon travail tente de contester cette formulation en créant des espaces nouveaux propices à de fausses histoires. » Avec la série Diachronicles, l’artiste Giulia Parlato réalise un travail en profondeur sur la valeur d’authenticité du document photographique. Par ses recherches, menées en collaboration avec des scientifiques de renom, elle développe une quête sémiologique visuelle dans laquelle elle questionne le rôle des symboles dans la construction des identités et des croyances. Comme le laisse supposer le titre de cet ensemble, Diachronicles est également une recherche sur la construction du langage et son évolution dans le temps.

Avec ce travail, qui sera présenté pendant Paris Photo à l’occasion de la Carte blanche – Étudiant 2019, Giulia Parlato a poursuivi une démarche minutieuse, presque académique. Développé avec l’aide de conservateurs de musées, de responsables du patrimoine et d’archéologues, ce projet s’attache à une problématique importante : celle du faux et de la fiction dans le réel. « Je faisais des recherches aux archives photographiques de l’Institut Warburg (Londres), explique-t-elle. Quand je suis tombée sur la section des faux, j’ai commencé à réfléchir à la relation que l’histoire entretient avec la fiction. » La question de la contrefaçon devient alors centrale pour elle. Mais le fondement de son travail est la recherche perpétuelle des hommes à vouloir trouver leur passé dans la terre avec toute la mélancolie et la frustration que comporte l’échec.

Le faux est un moment du vrai

Le parti pris de Giulia Parlato pour traduire ce récit d’une quête est la fiction. « Je me concentre sur la mise en scène, confie-t-elle. Je pense que ça vient du fait que mon oncle est réalisateur de films et scénariste. Nous sommes vraiment proches et nous travaillons parfois ensemble. D’autre part, enfants, nous avions un jeu avec mon meilleur ami. Il était le réalisateur et sa sœur, mon frère et moi, ses acteurs. » Pour explorer ce dépassement de la réalité et la façon dont le passé peut être réinterprété, elle construit une esthétique intemporelle, minimaliste dans un style archiviste. En documentant des fouilles archéologiques dans le centre de la Sicile, Giulia Parlato a beaucoup appris sur les processus de recherches et les a réutilisés pour ses besoins personnels et pour mettre en place son récit.

En contextualisant ses prises de vue, les Diachronicles de l’artiste italienne brouillent les pistes. Bien qu’elle considère sa démarche à la fois historique et expérimentale, dans ses images, le temps se suspend et les traces qui, croit-on, se révèlent, ne délivrent qu’une histoire imaginaire. À moins que, si « dans le monde réellement renversé, le faux est un moment du vrai » (Guy Debord, La société du spectacle, 1967), nous puissions nous demander en quoi cette histoire serait moins légitime que celle qui apparaît dans les livres. À une époque où notre rapport à la vérité interroge, où l’identité européenne est au cœur des débats, l’œuvre de Giulia Parlato affirme sa contemporanéité.

Photographic Museum of Humanity. Reconstructing the Past, One Object at a Time. Written by Lucia De Stefani.

In her fiction-documentary work Diachronicles, Italian photographer Giulia Parlato reconstructs and then photographs artifacts while she wonders on the arbitrary meaning we apply to objects, as we tell our story and make our history.

And then there were the hands—many hands, reaching: wrapping an artifact in a thick sheet of plastic; holding a lizard, its tail slightly curled between gentle fingers. There were hands that analyzed and hands that catalogued; hands that asked and hands that showed.

As they all tended to some precise task, indicate an intention or a meaning, these hands also point towards the heart of Giulia Parlato’s work Diachronicles—exploring our ancient need to examine and understand reality, to question the present and past, through clues scattered all around us. 

In this soulful search for knowledge, we attribute values to artefacts that represent aspects of the world. Yet, such traces remain elusive and they depend on our attribution for the narratives we build around them.

"In the end, one never gets to a total awareness of the past," Parlato says, "because we haven’t really been there in the first person."

Diachronicles arises from the confluence of her acute sense of wonder and a burning need to question. Shot in black-and-white—with her sunbathed homeland, Sicily, as the backdrop—this unmistakable landscape where layers of history overlap also becomes a place of the senses and the mind. 

The initial idea, though, arose at the Warburg Institute in London, where Parlato perused the photographic archive of counterfeit works that had been sold illicitly to cultural institutions around the world. Once the fraud had been revealed, their value overturned, these objects were stored away from public view.

“How can an object have a certain value, a historical significance in a certain moment, and then lose it completely a moment later?” Parlato asks. “And what does it mean to insert a disturbing element within a well-established narrative”—within history as we know it? 

To find such disruptive elements, the Regional Archeological Museum Salinas in Palermo was a good place to start. There she learned of i Falsi di Mastressa (“Fakes of Mastressa”)­, a collection of bogus small statues whose authenticity was claimed by an improbable couple.

That’s where Parlato started photographing the fakes, but then she took a further step introducing a more disruptive element: she began creating the artefacts herself, then photographing them, composing a collection of timeless archival photographs, whose value is the result of a fictional construct.

What authenticity do we attribute to an object then?

In her quest, Parlato uses photography as instrument for reconstructing the truth, drawing from the craft of archaeology and archival work as well as crime scene photo-documentation—two distant fields that both investigate the past. 

“It is important to recognize the power that an artifact has and the multiplicity of stories contained within it,” she says. “It is the power that these objects and fragments left behind have today, hence the importance of the past.” 

Animals, too, enter her frame, intensifying the sense of a Mediterranean landscape and culture. The lizard, peeking from the open fist, from animal is transformed into an object by the holding fingers, speaking about the cycle of life and death. A hawk, peering down with a wider vision of the horizon and thus reality, symbolizes wisdom. But its trajectory is interrupted by an insurmountable wall—a visual metaphor for the limits of our own knowledge.

There is something supernatural, perhaps mystical, in the way some things are photographed, Parlato says of her process. “[I wanted to] underline the fascination that humanity has for what we will never get to know, this kind of melancholy for a time in which we have never really lived, this desire to understand why we are here now, which will remain forever impossible to satisfy.”

A value system shapes the story (and history) of a people, but it can also be subject to sudden shifts. That’s when it’s a relevant question to ask who writes the story (and history), and what responsibilities and consequences come with authorship.

“We must try in the best way we can to represent all the voices of our present, so that in the future the story won’t be told again by only a single narrator as it often has been.”

British Journal of Photography. Diachronicles by Giulia Parlato. Written by Joanna Cresswell.

Looking at the authenticity of museum objects, Parlato explores what they can teach us about history.

What part do museums play in shaping our understanding of history? It’s a question that London-based Italian photographer Giulia Parlato has asked herself often in the past few years. “They’re places to learn about the past, and places where objects end up being elevated to a higher status of interpretation. But what happens to the discarded, unrecognised, or lost material culture that is not displayed?” she says. “A museum is tidy, organised and clear. We like to think about time as a linear, horizontal path, but there isn’t such a thing. It’s much more complicated than that.” 

Parlato’s new project, Diachronicles, emerged from this thinking, and she started working on it while researching for another work at The Warburg Institute in London. “While I was there I began browsing through the forgery section, and I started to think about the relationship that history has with fiction. In particular, what happens when you disrupt the historical narrative, which is ultimately really fragile, being a fabricated story in itself,” she says.

As she began shooting, Parlato got in touch with curators at the Regional Archaeological Museum Salinas in Palermo and learned of the story of Dr Savario Cavallari and Gaetano Moschella, an archaeologist and a farmer respectively, who in the mid 1800s produced and sold a series of limestone figures to museums across Europe as Ancient Greek artefacts. Captivated, she began to think of how she could create her own historical fictions in front of the lens. Diachronicles thus features photographs that appear to be presenting an array of artefacts and dioramas when, in fact, none of what we see is what it seems. “It’s all either created by me or friends, uncategorised material, or a forgery taken out from a museum storage space,” she explains.

The images were staged in studios in London, on location in Sicily, in museums and in the photographer’s garden, knocked together from objects and set-ups that might just pass as ‘authentic’. Shooting in black-and-white, Parlato wanted the images to have the feel of those from a timeless archival collection, hoping it would lead the viewer 

to scour them for evidence. Each of the photographs is titled so as to destabilise the authenticity of what we’re seeing – an image of a museum display cabinet, for instance, is called The Storyteller, “because it’s a condensed space where narratives take place, like the pages of a book”.

Parlato has plans to expand the work over time. She will be accompanying an archaeological expedition in Turkey in the summer, and is researching the advanced technologies that museums use to authenticate artefacts. “Even though inaccuracies, scams and fake news have always existed,” she says, “I think that particularly interesting questions can emerge from a body of work about the fragility of historiography right now.”

Diachronicles, Catalogue, Solo show at Palazzo Rasponi 2. An Imaginary Archeology: Diachronicles and the space of omissions. Written by Benedetta Casagrande.

“The invented image has its own truth” . Giordano Bruno, A general account of bonding, 1591.

Manifesting themselves in different times and places, artefacts are marked by their trajectory1. Their irregular movements, comprised of disappearances, emersions and relocations, diverge profoundly from the linear and orderly movements of historiography, practice entrusted with the challenging task of fabricating a coherent narrative of the past, unraveling the skein of history through the interpretation of material fragments. In absolute terms, the dream of an all-encompassing historiography would be the dream of a fool, as the relationship between history and historiography is analogous to the relationship between an event and its memory: in both cases, what is selected for memorialization is fundamentally built on exclusion and forgetfulness. The irreconcilability of the expanded, circular time of history (which contains everything simultaneously) with the partitioned time of historiography (which collects and inserts fragments in the container of the historical discourse) materializes a disturbing truth: the inevitable partiality of historic knowledge. Adopting the aesthetic traditions employed in the documentation of archeological findings and museum objects — which legitimate the mechanical apparatus of the camera as a mean to convey an objective, unmediated truth — Parlato builds deceitful images of inexistent archeological relics, placed between “the crystallizing movement of the ​document (as a symptom of the object, emanated from the real) and that, more erratic and centrifugal, of the ​disparate (as a symptom of the gaze, emanated from the imaginary)”2. The Fantastic emanated by Parlato’s images is not a ‘declared Fantastic’, which aims to illustrate a totally unusual universe, but an ‘insidious Fantastic’ of subtle ambiguity, which cracks the surface of a predetermined regularity that appeared imperturbable3: that of the historic discourse. This space, consisting of endless similarities4, transports the viewer in the domain of dreams, in which “we seek the original model, we would like to be sent back to a starting point, an initial revelation, but there is none: the dream is the similar that eternally refers to what is similar”5. Wearing the vest of the archeologist, the observer finds themself attempting to interpret the images as if they were relics and, running into the impossibility of finding a precise and categorical narrative, to weave a network of fictitious associations between them. Arming herself with the tools of uncertainty Parlato cuts the surface of the historical discourse, forcing it to reveal the gaps on which it is built. It is precisely this space, the space of ​omissions​ , that allows the emersion of multiple coexisting narratives: what was previously a single narrating voice opens up to the inclusion of multiple voices, linear time is transfigured into circular time. The imaginary created by Parlato places before us the enigma of the similar and simultaneous​ , a theme loved by Georges Didi-Huberman, whose common root, ​simul​ , “expresses a kind of rivalry of fate”6 — the intervention of chance that acts on the fortuitous encounters with re-emerged artefacts and on the arbitrary selection that legitimizes objects within the sphere of academic discourse and places them within their institutional framework. By adopting an indirect language that superimposes reality and fiction, Parlato plays a trick on the invisible7 and succeeds in “making less obscure that which by nature escapes language and representation”8: the irreducible extraneousness of the past.

1 ​ Willumson, Glenn (2004) Making Meaning: displaced materiality in the library and art museum, ​Photographs Objects Histories: On the materiality of images​ ed. by Elizabeth Edwards and Janice Hart, London: Routledge, pp.62 

2 Didi-Huberman, Georges (1998)​ Apparente, Disparato​ , La Conoscenza Accidentale, Bollati Boringhieri editore: Torino 2011, pp.13, translated by the author

3 ​ Caillois, Roger, (1965) ​At the heart of the fantastic​ , Abscondita srl: Milano 2004 

4 ​Didi-Huberman, Georges (1998)​ Il sangue della merlettaia​ , La Conoscenza Accidentale, Bollati Boringhieri editore: Torino 2011, pp.74

5 ​Blanchot, Maurice (1955), ​Lo spazio letterario​ , Einaudi: Torino 1967, pp.235, translated by the author 

6 Didi-Huberman, Georges (1998)​ Simile e Simultaneo​ , La Conoscenza Accidentale, Bollati Boringhieri editore: Torino 2011, pp.25, translated by the author

7 ​Caillois, Roger, (1965) ​At the heart of the fantastic​ , Abscondita srl: Milano 2004, pp.165 

8 Ibid.

City Zine. 虚构是为了让人看到更多 Written by Yang Zhou

1867年,西西里文物专家萨瓦里奥·卡瓦拉里博士(Dr Savario Cavallari)对外公布了一些奇特的石灰石塑像,其中有人物也有动物,并且还带着无法辨识的希腊字母铭刻。这些是当地一位名叫莫斯切拉(Moschella)的农民在名为马斯特瑞撒(Mastressa)的小山头上发现的,这一小山位于陶洛米尼姆古城(Tauromenium)和纳克索斯(Naxos)之间。卡瓦拉里博士认为这些石像是公元前八世纪当地的西库尔原住民制作的,西库尔人(Siculi)是铁器时代生活在西西里岛东部的民族,在希腊人建立一系列殖民地后,很快就融入了大希腊文化圈。1873年,英国驻巴勒莫领事馆的副领事乔治·丹尼斯(George Dennis)买下其中一些石像并运往了大英博物馆,他同样相信这是是西库尔人的手工艺品,但推测其年代为公元前五世纪末至四世纪初。这些塑像大小不一,最大的有半米高,其中动物自有奇特的魅力,而人物则比例颇为失调,显然雕刻技艺十分原始。然而,如今走进大英博物馆的游客并无缘见到这些奇异的石像,因

为在它们刚刚运抵伦敦时就被判定为赝品,丹尼斯先生对这一判断难以置信,经过几轮的通信之后,这些雕像还是留在了大英博物馆,只是被束之高阁。实际上,这些是典型的农民仿古制品,与至今依然在土耳其和突尼斯的旅游区欺骗游客的玩意儿并无二致,所需要的只是一些想象力和一把刻刀,很可能当年那位农民莫斯切拉正是这批石像的真正作者。 这个故事,是意大利摄影师朱莉娅·帕拉托在创作摄影项目《平行编年史》(Diachronicles)过程中了解到的。一直以来,朱莉娅·帕拉托有一条关于历史的认知,即历史并不像教科书和历史博物 馆中呈现的那样是一个完整的、连贯的叙事,而是充满了碎片、误解、造假和遗忘。《平行编年史》正是关于历史不确定性思考的结果。作品由一系列黑白照片组成——地上整齐摆放的带有编号的纸片、雕像残片和标尺、土坑里的碎骨、灰色背景前某个不明的木质塑像局部……乍一看,这些影像就是一般的考古现场记录,但多看几眼,似乎又有哪里不对劲。比如几张石像的照片被放置在荒凉的山坡上;一地碎石中有东西闪闪发光,但这耀眼的光芒让我们无法看清那物品究竟是什么;木板箱中,一件雕像被银色的幕布包裹着,看起来很珍贵却又摆放得颇为随意。这些照片让我们心中泛起不安,仿佛某些确定的事情再起波澜,我们想要提问,却发现那些问题如同刚醒之人拼命回忆的梦境一般,就在意识边缘却怎么也抓不到了。这种不安恰恰是摄影师帕拉托想要通过自己的项目引起的,“在历史博物馆的展览中,一切都显得整齐而有序,以至于我们总觉得时间是一条线性的明确的通路,但这样的通路并不存在。真正的历史比这复杂太多。我想知道,在早已确立的历史叙事中插入某个干扰元素,意味着什么?”帕拉托在自己的项目中阐述道。 要寻找这类干扰元素,巴勒莫的地方考古博物馆可以说是个不错的起点,在这里,帕托拉拍摄了一些被藏在仓库中的“马斯特瑞撒伪文物”,包括一尊半身像,似乎翻着白眼,表情颇为滑稽。通过拍摄伪文物来表达自己对于历史的思考,这一灵感则来自帕拉托在伦敦瓦尔堡研究所(Warburg Institute)的发现,在这里,她找到了一整个关于伪文物的摄影档案,其中都是被当作考古发现卖给各个文物机构的物件,最后却被发现是伪造的,与“马斯特瑞撒伪文物”一样,它们的真实身份一经败露,都立刻被机构藏到库房深处,远离公众的视线。除了拍摄不同博物馆的伪文物“馆藏”,帕拉托还更进一步,自己炮制了一些“古代手工制品”并在伦敦的摄影棚中对它们进行拍摄,而在西西里的骄阳下,她则导演出一幕幕考古现场。人文摄影博物馆(Photographic Museum of Humanity)撰稿人露西娅·德·斯特法尼(Lucia De Stefani)将帕拉托的作品描述为“虚构-记录”,这一说法准确地概括了帕拉托的摄影实践,她挪用了考古现场记录和法医摄影的视觉风格,却通过虚构搅乱我们对于历史真相的认知。 对帕拉托来说,自己制造这些伪文物和考古现场,其目的并不是要虚构某一段具体的历史,而是希望在更多不同层面上探索伪造历史的可能性。 “认识到一件文物的力量以及其背后包含的各种故事的可能性,这是非常重要的,”帕拉托曾经写道,“我想强调人性对于我们永远不可能确切知晓之事物的着迷,这种对于我们不曾真正经历过的往昔时间的怀旧,以及想要理解我们如何来到今时的渴望,将永远无法得到满足。”文物和历史遗址本身不会说话,但围绕它们却会产生各种解释和叙事,美术史家巫鸿教授在《遗址与图像》中论述道,“古代遗迹的存在本身,以及现代对它们的处理方式,是当代意识形态与价值观对祖先溯源和政  治格局的种种要求所招致的结果……”


Giulia Parlato:我在创作时首先想到的是摄影本身在历史中扮演的角色,这一媒介从发明之初就与过去的事件联系在一起。摄影予以我们一种比其它艺术媒介更直接地观看过去的方式,而对于追溯历史,人们总是十分热衷。我创作这些影像在风格上参考了早期的摄影档案和法医摄影。在分析考古影像或者犯罪现场照片时,我们看到的是井井有条的、空荡荡的场景,而事件早已是过去时。这些影像最吸引我之处在于,主要的行动完全被排除在照片之外,我们面前的只有散乱的线索,必须自己去完成拼图,试图得出令人信服的结论。《平行编年史》正是在思考这样一些概念:神秘的古代手工艺品、被遗弃的场景、伪造、编年史的脆弱性,以及完整地重诉过往是不可能实现的。 


Giulia Parlato:我觉得并没有一个特定的醍醐灌顶式的时刻,就是在成长的过程中,你慢慢就意识到了这一点。我最初接触到历史是通过我的奶奶,她给我讲了二战期间的故事。我觉得自己很幸运,因为我能够从她这里听到鲜活的历史故事,而不是后来上学时枯燥的课本。通常来说,当你开始上学,不同国家和地区的人就会学到不同的历史。在创作这一作品时,我研究了伪造文物的话题,尤其是那些曾经被各大博物馆机构当作真品买下的伪文物。当你读到这些故事,就会思考很多问题,之后我也想自己来“造假”:炮制一系列摄影档案证据。 


Giulia Parlato:我与历史的关系并不是怀疑,让我感兴趣的是学习和理解历史学家、考古专家和符号学家等的工作,我喜欢去听听不同行业的专家怎样谈论和解释过去。同时,历史记录中也有很多不准确、黑洞、造假和被遗忘的事件。这些失落的部分是我创作的焦点,比如我有一张照片拍摄于巴勒莫布泰拉城堡(Butera’s Palace)的图书馆,当人们在修复这一图书馆时,在木架子后面发现了许多古卷,它们很可能原本被放在书架顶上,不知何时滑落到后面。我拍这张照片时就想到了那些被遗忘的历史。


Giulia Parlato:我在本科学习时就读了很多关于阿比·瓦尔堡(Aby Warburg)的书籍,最初我去瓦尔堡研究所是想看看那儿的图书馆,那是一个非常神奇的地方。那里的书不是按照字母顺序排列,而是按照一种自由关联的逻辑,瓦尔堡本人称之为“老邻居法则”,如果要去找某本特定的书,你很可能找不到,但在过程中你一定会发现意料之外的宝藏。
我对于瓦尔堡生前最后的作品《记忆女神》(Bilderatlas Mnemosyne)十分着迷,因此多次去探索他的摄影档案,在这个过程中发现了伪文物的部分。当我读到那些相关的剪报文章,我就把研究的方向集中在我们如何叙述历史这个问题上面。 


Giulia Parlato:我想要自己制造伪古代手工艺品,是因为希望在更多不同层面上探索伪造历史的可能性。另外,每当进行一个摄影项目时,我都会列一个拍摄清单,通常我对想要怎样的影像有着十分清晰的概念,有时候自己去制作我想要的那种东西比去寻找符合想象的物品要简单许多。 


Giulia Parlato:动物的照片代表了生命被转化为物质文化的过程,生与死的循环。我选择了地中海沿岸的动物,比如蜥蜴和猎鹰,以加强地域感,同时也关注历史上这些动物被赋予的寓言式象征。比如,在西方的图腾系统中,鹰代表了远见和知识;从释梦的角度说,它又被认为是神的使者,带来的是变化和转换。而在我的照片中,猎鹰(标本)正飞向织物做的背景,我想用这一图像来象征人与过去的关系:那是我们永远也无法完全理解的地方,因为我们无法真正进入那里。


Giulia Parlato:本科和研究生的学习是完全不同的体验,对我来说,在本科阶段我对于摄影并不是很了解,所以主要是进行各种实验,在技术和观念层面进行不同的尝试。而到了研究生阶段,我就开始深入地进行自己的艺术创作,这非常关键。我对于摄影的理解确实有变化,现在也在继续改变,这很难用语言描述,我觉得在这一媒介中,还有许多可以去探索的方面。不过,有一个方面应该不会有什么改变,那就是我对于执导场景进行拍摄的兴趣。


Giulia Parlato:我最初在展览时会将照片印得比较大并装在框中,照片与照片之间有大量不均匀的留白,就像是文字都遗失之后空白的书页。我的整个项目是关于对确切历史事实的追寻,但这些事实并不存在。不过近期我也在扩展这一项目,尝试用某种方式融入文本。


Giulia Parlato:目前这个项目已经在不同的国家展出过,我觉得让不同的人看到很重要,我也希望能够听到不同的观点。我有一位视频艺术家朋友在看了我的展览之后,决定跟我进行合作,后来我们一同拍摄了视频作品“发掘” (The Discovery),现在这一作品也纳入到《平行编年史》之中了。 


Giulia Parlato:我从小就对某些照片格外感兴趣,那些最让我着迷的照片,恰恰并不是为了记录证据的目的拍摄的。现在更吸引我的是我们怎样去阅读档案照片,我最喜欢的一个作品是1977年拉里·萨尔坦(Larry Sultan)与迈克·曼德尔(Mike Mandel)合作的《证据》(Evidence),其中所使用的都是来自科学、政府和其他工业领域的档案照片,这是史上第一个展现照片排序可以产生新的、意料之外的叙事的观念作品。即便是在所谓纪实摄影的领域中,也有很多处理“真相”的方式,而首先你需要决定的是自己想要确立哪一个真相,因为真相并非只有一个;然后,你需要去分析照片中描绘了什么。历史上,摄影总被认为是对现实的客观反映,但从19世纪60年代往后,就已经开始有操控照片的手段,来“记录”那些没有实体的事物,比如逝者的鬼魂、魔幻生物和小精灵。所谓的假照片从来就存在,只是现在我们更熟悉被篡改的影像,这是无法逃离的事实,我们就生活在后真相的时代中。 


Giulia Parlato:我希望英国脱欧从未发生!

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