Andrea Modica works with sensual love as her base but aligned with a darkness which is pervasive, so much so that it can color your dreams.
The work is not hopeless but breathless, as if there is an atmospheric gauze placed over the larynx so that breathing has to be softened, done in silence so that walking the tight rope between an exalted life and a sultry death. You shan’t emit too loud a sound. The balance is so tentative, so tactile, so absolutely fragile that there is the danger of tipping the scales of mortality in clear sight.
We enter the work through an illusionary visage of two men sitting on the edge of a steaming tub. A rectangular pool, one is naked the other in a sports coat. One is looking haltingly into the future the other waiting ominously within the present. They set the scenario for the dark theatre which is to come; a vascular pulse generates throughout the work, which sure-footedly explores the aspects of life which have no surety at all. It is perhaps this soft pulse which separates this work from art. So many of the compositions are artful and exquisitely divined, but art is not the point here. Art, in its tendency for commoditized promiscuity, will not dwell easily on the edge of heat and possible demise.
Nothing is disappearing here; it is in your face but without being frontal, it lays back and allows you to be seduced by meanings which are not to be understood.
Mystery pervades but the images are not about mystery; that would be a supercilious intention. Modica doesn’t dwell on anything trite: she gets right to the point…
But what is the point? The viewer is constantly suspended between future tense and past dread, between a sensual lust and a limpid patina.
This is a work which has a soft edge but roars like a weighted crow in its insistence for transcendence. Flying low, moaning, loving, holding the deepest of sentiments dear, but with no sentimental meanings attached… Everything is suspended but all at the same time heavy… This is not easy work, nor is it hard.
But to try to understand where it takes you is to let go of any preamble about what things are supposed to be. One walks simply through time into the dark and into the senses; the clock has no hands, light illuminates but doesn’t decipher. Nothing is as it should be, but in this applied present, the past informs the future and allows us a certain quivering uncertainty which we will have to call being — being here, being here now.
Surprisingly from time to time, there is an innocence which floats to the surface of your heart. From out of the darkness a blink of tender rapture appears. Not exactly an unintended gust at the table, but a delightful one and one which holds the work in some balance, informing us that within the deep concerns of mortality there is a bubbling assortment of impulses that allows life to be felt as whole. to be suspended within wonder is part of the oratorio singing along with the dread, giving all parts of the work credence and organizing sound, as if symphonic, rather than just an obsessive dirge.
Andrea Modica is an MFA graduate from Yale University, Guggenheim Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. Her works have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and Newsweek, and can be found in permanent collections including the the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Andrea currently resides in Philadelphia where she is a professor of photography at Drexel University.
Larry Fink has been working as a professional photographer for over fifty-five years, he has had one-man shows all over and, as far as being represented in group shows, the list is longer than the eye can see. Recently, he was awarded the “Best of Show” for an exhibition curated by Christian Caujolle at the Arles Festival of Photography in France.
He is currently working on a massive retrospective book to be published by the University of Texas Press. Grafiche dell’Artiere in Bologna will make the exquisite prints for the book.
As we wait
Photography by Andrea Modica
Text: Larry Fink.
Published in English
First Edition: 500 copies
Size of the book: 24.5 x 30.5 cm
72 pages – three-colour printing
Paper Pheonixmotion Xenun
Cover price: 38,00 Euro (VAT included)