Home Edizioneed. 8 Antonio Guccione – Ab aeterno. What if photography were real immortality?

Antonio Guccione – Ab aeterno. What if photography were real immortality?

by AdminAg

Written by  Monica Camozzi

Antonio Guccione does with the lens what his deep and ironic psyche has already done with synapses: he synthesises impulses by transforming them into stories. But on several levels, a bit like in Inception, Nolan’s film where from the seemingly rational one descends to different unconscious depths, to the point that the truth dilates, becomes multiple and elusive.

From the Milan of (great) fashion, to the New York of (great) portraits, from sculptures (which he photographed and then destroyed) to the almost Dadaist experiments of his project dedicated to the Earth, Guccione is an explorer of reality, with an almost omnipresent awareness:

“The artist is aware of his own precariousness

Basically, Guccione is a portraitist. The medium he uses is incidental, in the sense that his is a genetic attitude to storytelling.  And his book Aston Love, the liberator of books, makes us realise that his passion has fallen on images but could otherwise spill over into words. Because fiction and its rhythm are a portrait of life, just as the camera captures a moment of the face defining the person.

Here, in the book, the female protagonist is called Dida, the Divine Dancer, or death. And Aston Love is by translation the photographer capable of mocking her, immortalising it. Making it eternal.

You want to tell us that photography ‘cheats’ death?
Death does not exist in the end, but we try to mock it.  We live in photographic times in which a liquid life has appropriated our very existence, making us believe that by looking at those images we are that immortal reality. The illusion has taken over…

Why after a lifetime of images did you choose words? Why a book?
The photographer always suffers from a silent inferiority complex: he cannot allow himself to speak because he makes the photo speak!  And I have set up a story, partly autobiographical (one can read inside it the love story with his wife, the model and artist Pia Klover, ed.), where photography remains fundamental, a narrative pivot that the word supports. It all starts from a love story, from the images that remain of it and that the author collects in a book after the sudden death of his mother and adds a plot, but no publisher publishes them. Until…

What happens?
I was inspired by the phenomenon of bookcrossing, which originated in the 1970s to stimulate reading and encouraged people to pass books on to others by ‘abandoning’ them after a small review. The story of Aston Love, rejected by all publishers, is passed on to different people through -and changing- their lives. The book expands from the author’s life to that of the characters who receive it, and passes from continents back to where it started, in New York.

The photographs could illustrate the story, our love story, and so I began to compose the images by sequence, as if it were a film.

The book mentions a bench in Central Park, number 26, with the inscription ‘Time is always now’…

Time is my obsession, the fact that it flows for me represents an atrocity. Here I try to dilate it, with a precise moral. Every character touched by the book changes his or her life for the better. And the author, through this experience, arrives at the awareness he was looking for when he put the artefact together.

What moral are you trying to give us?
The hope that keeps us from falling into darkness. It is no coincidence that photography, with its emotional storytelling, is the driving element. The book in the story is called Subterranea, something that runs under the skin, something intimate.

In the images of Aston Love there are photos of your beautiful wife, Pia Klover, a fateful rendezvous that took place in an airport. Is the portrait also an encounter?
Portraiture is an important encounter. With my manner I have seduced all the subjects who have posed in front of my lens.

Fellini went crazy with my Polaroids in his hand.

Can life tell a story using images?
Warhol said that life is a series of images that change in the way they repeat themselves.  Today we live the compulsiveness of sequential clicks, of digital photos. We cannot ignore the selfie phenomenon. And we cannot ignore the change.

Tomorrow, when looking back, it will ultimately count for little whether film or digital was used. What remains is the content”.

The value aspect of work that is often misunderstood and discarded also emerges in the book.
We have seen that for the most ingenious artists, the idea does not fit with the trend of the moment and the author is ermaginated, only to be rediscovered later. Aston Love is eventually pursued by one of the publishers who had answered him negatively, but by then he has already moved on, the book has already fulfilled its task.


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