“WE ARE HERE” is a series of three-dimensional photographs by Caroline Gavazzi about the immigrants living in Riace (Italy) and their identities.
From the moment I set foot in the village carrying all my photographic equipment, I realized it was meant to be. Within a matter of minutes I met a succession of extraordinary people.
The project started in 2016 in a small village in Calabria, Riace (IT) where the Mayor , Domenico Lucano, has uniquely been able to give immigrants housing, jobs and dignity, and involved men, women and children from all over the world.
It is in this “unique” context that Caroline Gavazzi chose to realize a number of “symbolic” pictures, where the fingerprint represents the uniqueness of each immigrant who landed in this remote land, having lost everything except their identity, which is the only thing remaining as a person.
The depth of the artworks, fruit of the juxtaposition of the fingerprint (printed on Plexiglass) on the B&W portrait of the immigrant (printed on Hahnemulhe archive paper), invites us to think about several issues.
The fingerprint, which initially evokes a strongly negative feeling in light of its more frequent association with criminal activities and screening of people (including immigrants), is instead interpreted as a symbol of the identity and distinctiveness of the individual, combined with the portrait concealed beneath it.
The spectator is thus invited to go beyond prejudice, and to discover the person hiding behind the image. The portrait reminds us that each immigrant is first and foremost a human being, with individual personality, history, afflictions, affection and feelings, and not a “number”. An individual who — like all of us — needs to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.
About Caroline Gavazzi
Caroline Gavazzi is an Italian/French photographer. She studied photography at Spéos (Paris) and London College of Communication (London). After a successful carrier in commercial photography specializing in interiors and lifestyle with regular features for international magazines such as Vogue, House & Garden, Country Living, Caroline shifted to creative photography in the early 2000s as a natural evolution towards pursuing her intellectual interests and seeking new forms of expression. Currently, Caroline focuses on a genre of photography she refers to as ‘plastic’. Overcoming a realistic vision, she tackles different subjects with a symbolic take, often concentrating on the act of revealing what is concealed beneath appearance. She ‘designs’ photographic installations that lever on three-dimensional effects and on the visual displacement created by layers of material, thus inducing spectators to critically share the questions that her research produces on being. Caroline exhibits her work in fairs, Institutions and galleries and just won two prestigious Awards, one at Mia Photo Fair 2017 in Milan and one at Fix Photo Festival 2017 in London [Official Website]
THE BRICK LANE GALLERY
216 Brick Lane, E1 6SB, London, UK
The exhibition will run from 5th till 10th July 2017 (opening hours: 10 am- 6 pm)