Farsettiarte in Cortina d’Ampezzo presents by Luca Campigotto. These are all the places where huge battles took places during the first World War !
Taken strictly as representative of the classic genre of landscape photography, in the tradition of Carleton Watkins, Timothy O’Sullivan and Ansel Adams, these photographs are evocative tours de force. More than that, they are deliberately, precisely stark, portraying a terrain either swathed in clouds or bathed in harsh, high-altitude daylight. Nature is a realm which prompts the first and deepest sensations of difference and individual consciousness, an experience that lies at the heart of aesthetics, and for Campigotto environmentalism. Yet the landscape he shows us is hardly romantic. Campigotto’s is a landscape that cannot be domesticated by aesthetics or colonized for the picturesque. Indeed it can barely be comprehended by the senses. It is so extreme that its impact exceeds the photographic frame; viewers risk wind chill and sunburn just looking.
Campigotto seeks the primal, the prelinguistic, a territory beyond or before signification. “The strength of the sublime remains beyond any rhetoric,” he has remarked. “The eye gets lost searching distance, contemplating what was made to be stronger than us.” In Il deserto dei tartari, the great novel of fruitless waiting on a nameless frontier, Dino Buzzati gave it a more melancholic spin: “Ice and stones speaking a strange language.” The realm of the gods, if there were gods, a realm not made for us and indifferent to our joy or suffering.
The photographs testify to Campigotto’s tenacity and imagination in usurping a god’s perspective. He has for years sought out difficult, remote locales and taken some hard roads to get there. He is an adventurer willing to open himself up to the emptiness of certain quarters and the vertigo they can induce. Against all the proper protocols, he climbed at late hours of the day, on the Lagazuoi and the Passo Paradiso, to register the strange mountain light, a light that expresses not just the setting of the sun but the closing up of the world. Campigotto often found himself walking for hours without meeting a soul, and the sense of isolation this brings to the photographs can hardly be overstated. In his images case it is as if the camera itself had somehow found its way into this remoteness and nature had composed its own self-portrait.
Luca Campigotto : Theaters of War
Until April 30th, 2023
Piazza Roma 10, 32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL)