The presence of an absence by Francesco Pace Rizzi

The ephemeral geometries of the shadows, sometimes complex, sometimes simple, exert a great fascination on me such as to push me to deepen this topic and create a project (started in 2019) where the shadows are in a sort of dialogue with the scene, able to free the imagination and create surreal and intangible images.

The ephemeral geometries of the shadows, sometimes complex, sometimes simple, exert a great fascination on me such as to push me to deepen this topic and create a project (started in 2019) where the shadows are in a sort of dialogue with the scene, able to free the imagination and create surreal and intangible images.

The idea of photographing the “absence” was further strengthened during the first hard lockdown for Covid when the streets were deserted and the rarefied people disappeared behind the buildings, disappeared in the side streets, in the alleys and in the doors “leaving” their shadows as witnesses of silence. Photographing the shadows also makes evocative an image that would otherwise be banal, moreover, the images made of “shadows” of absence are often more concrete and suggestive than those made of bodies.

For the project I drew inspiration from various pictorial works of the history of art, one in particular: “Il Bacio” by Francesco Hayez (1859) – oil on canvas, 110×88 cm. Milan, Brera Art Gallery. In all versions of the work, a shadow belonging to a character who is “outside” the canvas is clearly visible at the bottom left: Absent but present. What I have tried to create are images that have something enigmatic in them and at the same time stimulate reflection, all united by a leitmotiv that is to create an evocative effect of visual ambiguity with the shadows: the subject is outside the frame and yet it is inside the scene!

The work draws on the tradition of street photography but the style I have tried to develop challenge the traditional notions of this photographic genre by recurring at times to digital manipulation but above all working on composition, on the use of color, creativity and imagination.

“In truth, there are no secrets or mysteries: everything is shadow magic” (Junichiro Tanizaki, taken from: Book of Shadows)

About Francesco Pace Rizzi

Passionate about photography for over 25 years, I work as a science teacher and freelance photographer. I explored all photographic genres a bit but what particularly attracts me is the “street” genre that in my recent work “The presence of an absence” I revisited, challenging the common rules and looking for a personal vision of things and reality. He has achieved various prizes and awards in national and international competitions, in particular, in 2020 he won the first prize at the Urban Photo Awards Contest, Creative section, President of the Jury Alex Web e Rebecca Norris; Honorable Mention at the All About Photo 2020 contest, Photo.com; In 2019 he received the First Prize in the international competition: Chromatic Awards, Discovery of the Year 2019, conceptual category, Amateur. Some photos of him were chosen in the contest: Sony World Photography Awards: Open round ups and Pick of the pics! and in the LensCulture competition galleries.

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Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
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