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Anna Esposito


Fragility Road
Steps of Melancholy
I travelled between space and time,
between touch and smell,
between sight and hearing.
Everything was open, closed in my house.
The rust-coloured air smells of antiquity. Of an antique that, you feel, belongs to you. Of an antique that speaks to you. That colour speaks to you. Roots present in things appear to you in the flow of views and perspectives. Visions of feeling transmute forms. Intersections of levels, dimensions, space-time sharing. Mutual glances of tenderness and welcome. And you go deep down to swim in your fragilities.

Marveling at yourself.

“Ah, in what way do everyday things touch mysteries in us! In what way to the surface touched by the light of this life so complex as human, the Hour, uncertain smile, rises to the lips of Mystery! How modern it all seems! And at the same time so ancient, so occult, with a meaning so different from that which shines in everything!”

(Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Restlessness, 47 )

During the long lockdown period, photography has been my faithful companion, helping me to experiment with new possibilities of presence on a daily basis. It has kept me afloat, in spite of everything, probably precisely because of its being Non-Observant, free expression. And I have experienced all its therapeutic, cognitive and cathartic value.

The dimension of suspension, of slowness, of silence, allowed me to travel a long way, in depth, until I reached other, distant territories. Territories called to emerge and to show themselves, guided by a spontaneous impulse, in full correspondence with my feeling. The walls I was forced to live within each day were transformed and a mysterious exchange of correspondences began. Everything in my house acquired a new face, I was acquiring a new face, or rather, everything that was already there, that I was, was becoming illuminated. I thus began a search for my frailties, for the roots of these frailties, custodians of ancient answers and new questions. Why all that sadness? Why that perpetual melancholy of mine? Of whom? Of what?

This series explores the environments I live in, the signs they bear, those of time, the forms they occupy, in space, and how these same environments have shown themselves to me all perfectly connected to my story. An epiphany of the soul.

Fragile mysterious sediments’ (Pessoa, The Book of Restlessness) that like strings made me vibrate, in a carousel of bewilderment and revelations. Spaces, times, things, radiate their profound symbolic and evocative value, they transmute to become poetic pieces of you. The lens is a magic filter that knocks down every superstructure, every barrier and makes the invisible visible in a transparent dimension of authenticity that disorients and moves. A creative process of care and attention that starts unconsciously and then becomes something unavoidable when, having developed the shot, you contemplate it. Shooting then becomes a necessity to be fulfilled in order to realise, to stop that intuition.

The pain felt, the lacerating scream of body memory, made me totally naked before myself. Mud and slime, fine and thick, scratchy grains of boundless feeling, at times unbearable, characterised this very strong experience; a hard struggle of love, hate and forgiveness, a mirror pointed with all ferocity at myself.

The Chasm that opened up generated tears made of pearl, steeped in courage, awareness and full presence .

And you breathe Astonishment, marvellous astonishment, before what is revealed: this is my way of being in the world!

And you welcome yourself, clutching and squeezing even tighter into your vulnerabilities, into your cracks, giving yourself permission to be, just to be, beyond all said, beyond all unsaid.

Those cracks are you, they have made you what you are, in all your extraordinary humanity.

Today I know that I am made of melancholy, my steps are melancholy …

“… it is my peculiar melancholy composed of different elements, the quintessence of various substances, and more precisely of so many different experiences of journeys during which that perpetual ruminating has plunged me into a capricious sadness.

It is not a compact and opaque melancholy, therefore, but a veil of minute particles of moods and sensations, a dusting of atoms like everything that constitutes the ultimate substance of the multiplicity of things”.

(Italo Calvino, Lezioni americane)

This is my road, Fragility Road…

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