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Carlo Traini


CELLOPHANE (Hidden identities)

My vision for these pictures has been strongly inspired by “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem by Walt Whitman. This is the part that struck me the most:

“I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?”.

Cellophane represents my quest for the most silent side of every human being, born mysteriously from their own soul. In this neverending debate about what actually can and can’t be considered “soul”, I’ve wanted to expose these hidden, yet present identities throughout my daily journeys; at times they make an effort to be heard, some other times they just want to be fellow travelers – reassuring, restless, heretic, even wandering entities.

Every cellophane sheet is the “Genius Loci” (an “iconeme”, that is to landscape as phonemes are to language). This project proves how these iconemes are, for the most part, not necessarily beautiful, appealing, or monumental per se. Often times they are just little things: haystacks, gazebos, street signs, always covered by semi-transparent PVC sheets (like Christo’s artworks). A symbol of our human society and its instinct of sweeping various things under plastic rugs, maybe in an effort to protect them. Meanwhile, we can find our reflection in these altered shapes and eerie shadows, while we hope to ascend into a new, revealed, surprising identity.

Carlo Traini



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