Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche
Thinking like an island is a reflection of the geographical and social space of the island. Islands have always been represented as "monological" spaces - meaning that, in the history of their representation, their small size has often been linked to the existence of only one logic: paradise or hell, utopian or dystopian places. Also, the representation of islands often indulges with the romanticized idea of a place that’s out of space and out of time - this, together with the "monological" thinking, killing their complex and dialectal existence. Thinking like an island is instead looking at the island as a contemporary place, which exists and is lived in multiple ways, always changing, always plural. The project deals mainly with the idea of the island as a possibility: not only of a different kind of space, but also of a different kind of way of living. The psychologist Abraham Moles suggested that the island owns a topological and conceptual richness: by distancing itself from the perception of space as something unlimited, the island is an “ecological niche”; in its relationship with the mainland institutions, “the islands’ existence is an attack to the state’s authority”. Can the possibility of something different, can the possibility of the island, create friction, can it somehow resist the way we perceive the logic of our contemporary reality? Thinking like an island deals, also, with how the island feels like: and it’s something that has to do with its physical structure, with the perpetual perception of finitude and of immensity altogether, with total darkness, and with the plankton’s sparkling in the water during the night. It’s a sensation that you can not think of rationally, that you can’t see in itself, but only look for in fragments, splinters: rocks, water, plants (dead or alive), swimming fishes, goat’s skeletons - all signs of the deepness of time, of the island as it is and as it was before anybody else. Thinking like an island is therefore trying to decentralize humans, to feel and catch different sensibilities, to augment and shift our perception’s frequencies in order to give back a vision starting every time from a different scale - the human and the non-human, the ephemeral and the deep time scale, the microscopic and the overall vision. While visually addressing the place of the island, which is topologically described by the presence of a limit, these images also reflect on the obstacles, the holes, and the blind spots that are inherent in representation: the sensation of a limited and hindered view is investing the subject of the island as well as the process of representation through images itself. The darkness and the blinding lights in the images are then talking about the island as well as they’re reflecting on the process, on the medium of photography. Can a more honest, more respectful way of representation start from the acceptance, from the integration of absences and limits?
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